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Leveraging HST with MUSE: I. Sodium abundance variations within the 2 Gyr-old cluster NGC 1978

Saracino, S, Kamann, S, Usher, C, Bastian, N, Martocchia, S, Lardo, C, Latour, M, Cabrera-Ziri, I, Dreizler, S, Giesers, B, Husser, T-O, Kacharov, N and Salaris, M (2020) Leveraging HST with MUSE: I. Sodium abundance variations within the 2 Gyr-old cluster NGC 1978. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 498 (3). pp. 4472-4480. ISSN 0035-8711

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Nearly all of the well studied ancient globular clusters (GCs), in the Milky Way and in nearby galaxies, show star-to-star variations in specific elements (e.g., He, C, N, O, Na, Al), known as "multiple populations" (MPs). However, MPs are not restricted to ancient clusters, with massive clusters down to $\sim2$ Gyr showing signs of chemical variations. This suggests that young and old clusters share the same formation mechanism but most of the work to date on younger clusters has focused on N-variations. Initial studies even suggested that younger clusters may not host spreads in other elements beyond N (e.g., Na), calling into question whether these abundance variations share the same origin as in the older GCs. In this work, we combine HST photometry with VLT/MUSE spectroscopy of a large sample of RGB stars (338) in the Large Magellanic Cloud cluster NGC 1978, the youngest globular to date with reported MPs in the form of N-spreads. By combining the spectra of individual RGB stars into N-normal and N-enhanced samples, based on the "chromosome map" derived from HST, we search for mean abundance variations. Based on the NaD line, we find a Na-difference of $\Delta$[Na/Fe]$=0.07\pm0.01$ between the populations. While this difference is smaller than typically found in ancient GCs (which may suggest a correlation with age), this result further confirms that the MP phenomenon is the same, regardless of cluster age and host galaxy. As such, these young clusters offer some of the strictest tests for theories on the origin of MPs.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been accepted for publication in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society ©: 2020 The Authors Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Uncontrolled Keywords: astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.SR; astro-ph.GA
Subjects: Q Science > QB Astronomy
Q Science > QC Physics
Divisions: Astrophysics Research Institute
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2020 11:47
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2023 14:45
DOI or ID number: 10.1093/mnras/staa2748
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/13623
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