Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published October 10, 2009 | Published + Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

M31 Globular Cluster Abundances from High-Resolution, Integrated-Light Spectroscopy


We report the first detailed chemical abundances for five globular clusters (GCs) in M31 from high-resolution (R ~ 25,000) spectroscopy of their integrated light (IL). These GCs are the first in a larger set of clusters observed as part of an ongoing project to study the formation history of M31 and its GC population. The data presented here were obtained with the HIRES echelle spectrograph on the Keck I telescope and are analyzed using a new IL spectra analysis method that we have developed. In these clusters, we measure abundances for Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Sc, Ti, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Y, and Ba, ages ≥10 Gyr, and a range in [Fe/H] of –0.9 to –2.2. As is typical of Milky Way GCs, we find these M31 GCs to be enhanced in the α-elements Ca, Si, and Ti relative to Fe. We also find [Mg/Fe] to be low relative to other [α/Fe], and [Al/Fe] to be enhanced in the IL abundances. These results imply that abundances of Mg, Al (and likely O, Na) recovered from IL do display the inter- and intra-cluster abundance variations seen in individual Milky Way GC stars, and that special care should be taken in the future in interpreting low- or high-resolution IL abundances of GCs that are based on Mg-dominated absorption features. Fe-peak and the neutron-capture elements Ba and Y also follow Milky Way abundance trends. We also present high-precision velocity dispersion measurements for all five M31 GCs, as well as independent constraints on the reddening toward the clusters from our analysis.

Additional Information

© 2009 The American Astronomical Society. Received 2009 March 20, accepted for publication 2009 August 28. Published 2009 September 22. The data presented herein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated as a scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology, the University of California and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The Observatory was made possible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation. This research was supported by NSF grant AST-0507350. J.E.C. thanks E. Kirby for help with the IL spectral synthesis code.

Attached Files

Published - Colucci2009p6130Astrophys_J.pdf

Accepted Version - 0908.3899.pdf


Files (7.1 MB)
Name Size Download all
3.1 MB Preview Download
4.0 MB Preview Download

Additional details

August 21, 2023
October 19, 2023