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High-precision abundances of first-population stars in NGC 2808: Confirmation of a metallicity spread

Lardo, C, Salaris, M, Cassisi, S, Bastian, N, Mucciarelli, A, Cabrera-Ziri, I and Dalessandro, E (2022) High-precision abundances of first-population stars in NGC 2808: Confirmation of a metallicity spread. Astronomy and Astrophysics, 669. ISSN 0004-6361

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Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361/202245090 (Published version)


Photometric investigations have revealed that Galactic globular clusters (GCs) exhibit internal metallicity variations amongst the so-called first-population stars, which until now were considered to have a homogeneous initial chemical composition. This is not fully supported by the sparse spectroscopic evidence, which so far gives conflicting results. Here, we present a high-resolution re-analysis of five stars in the Galactic GC NGC 2808 taken from the literature. Target stars are bright red giants with nearly identical atmospheric parameters belonging to the first population according to their identification in the chromosome map of the cluster, and we measured precise differential abundances for Fe, Si, Ca, Ti, and Ni to the ∼0.03 dex level. Thanks to the very small uncertainties associated with the differential atmospheric parameters and abundance measurements, we find that target stars span a range of iron abundance equal to 0.25 ± 0.06 dex. The individual elemental abundances are highly correlated with the positions of the stars along the extended sequence described by first-population objects in the cluster chromosome map: Bluer stars have a lower iron content. This agrees with inferences from the photometric analysis. The differential abundances of all other elements also show statistically significant ranges that point to intrinsic abundance spreads. The Si, Ca, Ti, and Ni variations are highly correlated with iron variations and the total abundance spreads for all elements are consistent within the error bars. This suggests a scenario in which short-lived massive stars exploding as supernovae contributed to the self-enrichment of the gas in the natal cloud while star formation was still ongoing.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0201 Astronomical and Space Sciences; Astronomy & Astrophysics
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: EDP Sciences
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2023 14:15
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2023 14:15
DOI or ID number: 10.1051/0004-6361/202245090
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/18557
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