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Published September 1, 1981 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Giant Branch of the Globular Cluster NGC3201


Infrared photometry has been obtained for 26 stars in the field of the globular cluster NGC 3201. For 14 of these stars, optical spectra have also been obtained. These observations show that the giant branch of this cluster possesses an intrinsic width of 0.13 mag (± 1 σ) in (V-K)_0. We conclude however, that variable reddening across the cluster with σ[E(B-V)] = 0.023 is the most likely explanation of this result. In particular, the observed intrinsic width cannot be due to a range in heavy metal abundance, since there is no star-to-star scatter in the strengths of various strong metal lines. There is a range in G band (CH) strength at constant (V-K)_0 that correlates with CO strength: stars with weak CH also have weak CO. Comparisons with published synthetic spectra show that star-to-star variations in carbon abundance of less than a factor of 3 are sufficient to explain the range in G-band strengths. With the exception of two stars, no significant scatter was found in the strengths of the λ3883 CN band. The position of the giant branch in the infrared C-M diagram and the strengths of metal lines in the optical spectra indicate that the overall metal abundance of NGC 3201 is comparable to those of M3, M5, and NGC 6752. This is significantly more metal-poor than the preliminary abundance determined from echelle plates by Pilachowski, Sneden, and Canterna.

Additional Information

© American Astronomical Society • Provided by the NASA Astrophysics Data System. Received 1980 December 30; accepted 1981 March 10. Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory is supported by the National Science Foundation under Contract No. AST 78-27879. G. DaC. is grateful to the Carnegie Institution of Washington for the award of a postdoctoral fellowship that enabled access to the facilities of Las Campanas Observatory. J. A. F. is grateful to Jay Eliasfor considerable assistance in obtaining some of the data presented here. This research was supported in part by NSF grants AST 77-23188 and AST 77-23566.

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Published - 1981ApJ___248__612D.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023