Home     Getting Started     To Survive in the Universe    
Inhabited Sky
    News@Sky     Astro Photo     The Collection     Forum     Blog New!     FAQ     Press     Login  

NGC 6544



Upload your image

DSS Images   Other Images

Related articles

Where the Blue Stragglers Roam: Searching for a Link between Formation and Environment
The formation of blue stragglers is still not completely understood,particularly the relationship between formation environment andmechanism. We use a large, homogeneous sample of blue stragglers in thecores of 57 globular clusters to investigate the relationships betweenblue straggler populations and their environments. We use a consistentdefinition of ``blue straggler'' based on position in thecolor-magnitude diagram and normalize the population relative to thenumber of red giant branch stars in the core. We find that thepreviously determined anticorrelation between blue straggler frequencyand total cluster mass is present in the purely core population. We findsome weak anticorrelations with central velocity dispersion and withhalf-mass relaxation time. The blue straggler frequency does not showany trend with any other cluster parameter. Even though collisions maybe expected to be a dominant blue straggler formation process inglobular cluster cores, we find no correlation between the frequency ofblue stragglers and the collision rate in the core. We also investigatedthe blue straggler luminosity function shape and found no relationshipbetween any cluster parameter and the distribution of blue stragglers inthe color-magnitude diagram. Our results are inconsistent with somerecent models of blue straggler formation that include collisionalformation mechanisms and may suggest that almost all observed bluestragglers are formed in binary systems.

Globular Cluster Metallicity Subpopulations in NGC 4472
Bimodality is a common feature of globular cluster (GC) colordistributions in galaxies. Although it is well known that the GC systemof the Milky Way is bimodal in metallicity, this has yet to be directlydemonstrated for an elliptical galaxy. We use Lick index measurementsfrom the literature to derive metallicities for 47 GCs in the giantVirgo elliptical galaxy NGC 4472. The resulting distribution shows clearevidence for two metallicity subpopulations of GCs.

Integrated-Light Two Micron All Sky Survey Infrared Photometry of Galactic Globular Clusters
We have mosaicked Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) images to derivesurface brightness profiles in J, H, and Ks for 104 Galacticglobular clusters. We fit these with King profiles and show that thecore radii are identical to within the errors for each of these IRcolors and are identical to the core radii at V in essentially allcases. We derive integrated-light colors V-J, V-H, V-Ks, J-H,and J-Ks for these globular clusters. Each color shows areasonably tight relation between the dereddened colors and metallicity.Fits to these are given for each color. The IR - IR colors have verysmall errors, due largely to the all-sky photometric calibration of the2MASS survey, while the V-IR colors have substantially largeruncertainties. We find fairly good agreement with measurements ofintegrated-light colors for a smaller sample of Galactic globularclusters by M. Aaronson, M. Malkan, and D. Kleinmann from 1977. Ourresults provide a calibration for the integrated light of distantsingle-burst old stellar populations from very low to solarmetallicities. A comparison of our dereddened measured colors withpredictions from several models of the integrated light of single-burstold populations shows good agreement in the low-metallicity domain forV-Ks colors but also shows an offset at a fixed [Fe/H] of~0.1 mag in J-Ks, which we ascribe to photometric systemtransformation issues. Some of the models fail to reproduce the behaviorof the integrated-light colors of the Galactic globular clusters nearsolar metallicity.

Global fitting of globular cluster age indicators
Context: .Stellar models and the methods for the age determinations ofglobular clusters are still in need of improvement. Aims: .Weattempt to obtain a more objective method of age determination based oncluster diagrams, avoiding the introduction of biases due to thepreference of one single age indicator. Methods: .We compute newstellar evolutionary tracks and derive the dependence of age indicatingpoints along the tracks and isochrone - such as the turn-off or bumplocation - as a function of age and metallicity. The same criticalpoints are identified in the colour-magnitude diagrams of globularclusters from a homogeneous database. Several age indicators are thenfitted simultaneously, and the overall best-fitting isochrone isselected to determine the cluster age. We also determine thegoodness-of-fit for different sets of indicators to estimate theconfidence level of our results. Results: .We find that ourisochrones provide no acceptable fit for all age indicators. Inparticular, the location of the bump and the brightness of the tip ofthe red giant branch are problematic. On the other hand, the turn-offregion is very well reproduced, and restricting the method to indicatorsdepending on it results in trustworthy ages. Using an alternative set ofisochrones improves the situation, but neither leads to an acceptableglobal fit. Conclusions: .We conclude that evolutionary tracks oflow-mass metal-poor stars are far from reproducing all aspects ofglobular cluster colour-magnitude diagrams and that the determination ofcluster ages still depends on the favourite method or indicator chosen.

Dynamical Formation of Close Binaries in Globular Clusters: Cataclysmic Variables
We answer the long-standing question of which production mechanism isresponsible for the cataclysmic variables (CVs) in globular clusters.Arguments have been given that range from mostly primordial presence toa significant contribution of later dynamical formation in close stellarencounters. We conclude, based on a thorough analysis of a homogeneousChandra data set, that the majority of CVs in dense globular clustershave a dynamical origin.

Multivariate analysis of globular cluster horizontal branch morphology: searching for the second parameter
Aims.The interpretation of globular cluster horizontal branch (HB)morphology is a classical problem that can significantly blur ourunderstanding of stellar populations. Methods: .We present a newmultivariate analysis connecting the effective temperature extent of theHB with other cluster parameters. The work is based on Hubble SpaceTelescope photometry of 54 Galactic globular clusters. Results: .The present study reveals the important role of the total mass of theglobular cluster on its HB morphology. More massive clusters tend tohave HBs more extended to higher temperatures. For a set of three inputvariables including the temperature extension of the HB, [Fe/H] and M_V,the first two eigenvectors account for 90% of the total samplevariance. Conclusions: . Possible effects of clusterself-pollution on HB morphology, stronger in more massive clusters,could explain the results derived here.

Globular cluster system and Milky Way properties revisited
Aims.Updated data of the 153 Galactic globular clusters are used toreaddress fundamental parameters of the Milky Way, such as the distanceof the Sun to the Galactic centre, the bulge and halo structuralparameters, and cluster destruction rates. Methods: .We build areduced sample that has been decontaminated of all the clusters youngerthan 10 Gyr and of those with retrograde orbits and/or evidence ofrelation to dwarf galaxies. The reduced sample contains 116 globularclusters that are tested for whether they were formed in the primordialcollapse. Results: .The 33 metal-rich globular clusters([Fe/H]≥-0.75) of the reduced sample basically extend to the Solarcircle and are distributed over a region with the projected axial-ratiostypical of an oblate spheroidal, Δ x:Δ y:Δz≈1.0:0.9:0.4. Those outside this region appear to be related toaccretion. The 81 metal-poor globular clusters span a nearly sphericalregion of axial-ratios ≈1.0:1.0:0.8 extending from the central partsto the outer halo, although several clusters in the external regionstill require detailed studies to unravel their origin as accretion orcollapse. A new estimate of the Sun's distance to the Galactic centre,based on the symmetries of the spatial distribution of 116 globularclusters, is provided with a considerably smaller uncertainty than inprevious determinations using globular clusters, R_O=7.2±0.3 kpc.The metal-rich and metal-poor radial-density distributions flatten forR_GC≤2 kpc and are represented well over the full Galactocentricdistance range both by a power-law with a core-like term andSérsic's law; at large distances they fall off as ˜R-3.9. Conclusions: .Both metallicity components appearto have a common origin that is different from that of the dark matterhalo. Structural similarities between the metal-rich and metal-poorradial distributions and the stellar halo are consistent with a scenariowhere part of the reduced sample was formed in the primordial collapseand part was accreted in an early period of merging. This applies to thebulge as well, suggesting an early merger affecting the central parts ofthe Galaxy. The present decontamination procedure is not sensitive toall accretions (especially prograde) during the first Gyr, since theobserved radial density profiles still preserve traces of the earliestmerger(s). We estimate that the present globular cluster populationcorresponds to ≤23±6% of the original one. The fact that thevolume-density radial distributions of the metal-rich and metal-poorglobular clusters of the reduced sample follow both a core-likepower-law, and Sérsic's law indicates that we are dealing withspheroidal subsystems at all scales.

Nearby Spiral Globular Cluster Systems. I. Luminosity Functions
We compare the near-infrared (JHK) globular cluster luminosity functions(GCLFs) of the Milky Way, M31, and the Sculptor Group spiral galaxies.We obtained near-infrared photometry with the Persson's AuxiliaryNasmyth Infrared Camera on the Baade Telescope for 38 objects (mostlyglobular cluster candidates) in the Sculptor Group. We also havenear-infrared photometry from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)-6Xdatabase for 360 M31 globular cluster candidates and aperture photometryfor 96 Milky Way globular cluster candidates from the 2MASS All-Sky andSecond Incremental Release databases. The M31 6X GCLFs peak at absolutereddening-corrected magnitudes of MJ0=-9.18,MH0=-9.73, and MK0=-9.98.The mean brightness of the Milky Way objects is consistent with that ofM31 after accounting for incompleteness. The average Sculptor absolutemagnitudes (correcting for relative distance from the literature andforeground reddening) are MJ0=-9.18,MH0=-9.70, and MK0=-9.80.NGC 300 alone has absolute foreground-dereddened magnitudesMJ0=-8.87, MH0=-9.39, andMK0=-9.46 using the newest Gieren et al. distance.This implies either that the NGC 300 GCLF may be intrinsically fainterthan that of the larger galaxy M31 or that NGC 300 may be slightlyfarther away than previously thought. Straightforward application of ourM31 GCLF results as a calibrator gives NGC 300 distance moduli of26.68+/-0.14 using J, 26.71+/-0.14 using H, and 26.89+/-0.14 using K.Data for this project were obtained at the Baade 6.5 m telescope, LasCampanas Observatory, Chile.

RR Lyrae-based calibration of the Globular Cluster Luminosity Function
We test whether the peak absolute magnitude MV(TO) of theGlobular Cluster Luminosity Function (GCLF) can be used for reliableextragalactic distance determination. Starting with the luminosityfunction of the Galactic Globular Clusters listed in Harris catalogue,we determine MV(TO) either using current calibrations of theabsolute magnitude MV(RR) of RR Lyrae stars as a function ofthe cluster metal content [Fe/H] and adopting selected cluster samples.We show that the peak magnitude is slightly affected by the adoptedMV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation, with the exception of that based onthe revised Baade-Wesselink method, while it depends on the criteria toselect the cluster sample. Moreover, grouping the Galactic GlobularClusters by metallicity, we find that the metal-poor (MP) ([Fe/H]<-1.0, <[Fe/H]>~-1.6) sample shows peak magnitudes systematicallybrighter by about 0.36mag than those of the metal-rich (MR) ([Fe/H]>-1.0, (<[Fe/H]>~-0.6) one, in substantial agreement with thetheoretical metallicity effect suggested by synthetic Globular Clusterpopulations with constant age and mass function. Moving outside theMilky Way, we show that the peak magnitude of the MP clusters in M31appears to be consistent with that of Galactic clusters with similarmetallicity, once the same MV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation is used fordistance determination. As for the GCLFs in other external galaxies,using Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) measurements we giveevidence that the luminosity functions of the blue (MP) GlobularClusters peak at the same luminosity within ~0.2mag, whereas for the red(MR) samples the agreement is within ~0.5mag even accounting for thetheoretical metallicity correction expected for clusters with similarages and mass distributions. Then, using the SBF absolute magnitudesprovided by a Cepheid distance scale calibrated on a fiducial distanceto Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), we show that the MV(TO)value of the MP clusters in external galaxies is in excellent agreementwith the value of both Galactic and M31 ones, as inferred by an RR Lyraedistance scale referenced to the same LMC fiducial distance. Eventually,adopting μ0(LMC) = 18.50mag, we derive that the luminosityfunction of MP clusters in the Milky Way, M31, and external galaxiespeak at MV(TO) =-7.66 +/- 0.11, - 7.65 +/- 0.19 and -7.67 +/-0.23mag, respectively. This would suggest a value of -7.66 +/- 0.09mag(weighted mean), with any modification of the LMC distance modulusproducing a similar variation of the GCLF peak luminosity.

Resolved Massive Star Clusters in the Milky Way and Its Satellites: Brightness Profiles and a Catalog of Fundamental Parameters
We present a database of structural and dynamical properties for 153spatially resolved star clusters in the Milky Way, the Large and SmallMagellanic Clouds, and the Fornax dwarf spheroidal. This databasecomplements and extends others in the literature, such as those ofHarris and Mackey & Gilmore. Our cluster sample comprises 50 ``youngmassive clusters'' in the LMC and SMC, and 103 old globular clustersbetween the four galaxies. The parameters we list include central andhalf-light-averaged surface brightnesses and mass densities; core andeffective radii; central potentials, concentration parameters, and tidalradii; predicted central velocity dispersions and escape velocities;total luminosities, masses, and binding energies; central phase-spacedensities; half-mass relaxation times; and ``κ-space'' parameters.We use publicly available population-synthesis models to computestellar-population properties (intrinsic B-V colors, reddenings, andV-band mass-to-light ratios) for the same 153 clusters plus another 63globulars in the Milky Way. We also take velocity-dispersionmeasurements from the literature for a subset of 57 (mostly old)clusters to derive dynamical mass-to-light ratios for them, showing thatthese compare very well to the population-synthesis predictions. Thecombined data set is intended to serve as the basis for futureinvestigations of structural correlations and the fundamental plane ofmassive star clusters, including especially comparisons between thesystemic properties of young and old clusters.The structural and dynamical parameters are derived from fitting threedifferent models-the modified isothermal sphere of King; an alternatemodified isothermal sphere based on the ad hoc stellar distributionfunction of Wilson; and asymptotic power-law models withconstant-density cores-to the surface-brightness profile of eachcluster. Surface-brightness data for the LMC, SMC, and Fornax clustersare based in large part on the work of Mackey & Gilmore, but includesignificant supplementary data culled from the literature and importantcorrections to Mackey & Gilmore's V-band magnitude scale. Theprofiles of Galactic globular clusters are taken from Trager et al. Weaddress the question of which model fits each cluster best, finding inthe majority of cases that the Wilson models-which are spatially moreextended than King models but still include a finite, ``tidal'' cutoffin density-fit clusters of any age, in any galaxy, as well as or betterthan King models. Untruncated, asymptotic power laws often fit about aswell as Wilson models but can be significantly worse. We argue that theextended halos known to characterize many Magellanic Cloud clusters maybe examples of the generic envelope structure of self-gravitating starclusters, not just transient features associated strictly with youngage.

A Library of Integrated Spectra of Galactic Globular Clusters
We present a new library of integrated spectra of 40 Galactic globularclusters, obtained with the Blanco 4 m telescope and the R-Cspectrograph at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. The spectracover the range ~3350-6430 Å with ~3.1 Å (FWHM) resolution.The spectroscopic observations and data reduction were designed tointegrate the full projected area within the cluster core radii in orderto properly sample the light from stars in all relevant evolutionarystages. The S/N values of the flux-calibrated spectra range from 50 to240 Å-1 at 4000 Å and from 125 to 500Å-1 at 5000 Å. The selected targets span a widerange of cluster parameters, including metallicity, horizontal-branchmorphology, Galactic coordinates, Galactocentric distance, andconcentration. The total sample is thus fairly representative of theentire Galactic globular cluster population and should be valuable forcomparison with similar integrated spectra of unresolved stellarpopulations in remote systems. For most of the library clusters, ourspectra can be coupled with deep color-magnitude diagrams and reliablemetal abundances from the literature to enable the calibration ofstellar population synthesis models. In this paper we present a detailedaccount of the observations and data reduction. The spectral library ispublicly available in electronic format from the National OpticalAstronomical Observatory Web site.

Galactic Globular Cluster Relative Ages
We present accurate relative ages for a sample of 55 Galactic globularclusters. The ages have been obtained by measuring the differencebetween the horizontal branch and the turnoff in two internallyphotometrically homogeneous databases. The mutual consistency of the twodata sets has been assessed by comparing the ages of 16 globularclusters in common between the two databases. We have also investigatedthe consistency of our relative age determination within the recentstellar model framework. All clusters with [Fe/H]<-1.7 are found tobe old and coeval, with the possible exception of two objects, which aremarginally younger. The age dispersion for the metal-poor clusters is0.6 Gyr (rms), consistent with a null age dispersion.Intermediate-metallicity clusters (-1.7<[Fe/H]<-0.8) are onaverage 1.5 Gyr younger than the metal-poor ones, with an age dispersionof 1.0 Gyr (rms) and a total age range of ~3 Gyr. About 15% of theintermediate-metallicity clusters are coeval with the oldest clusters.All the clusters with [Fe/H]>-0.8 are ~1 Gyr younger than the mostmetal-poor ones, with a relatively small age dispersion, although themetal-rich sample is still too small to allow firmer conclusions. Thereis no correlation of the cluster age with the galactocentric distance.We briefly discuss the implication of these observational results forthe formation history of the Galaxy.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555, and on observations made at the European SouthernObservatory, La Silla, Chile, and with the Isaac Newton GroupTelescopes.

On the origin of the radial mass density profile of the Galactic halo globular cluster system
We investigate what may be the origin of the presently observed spatialdistribution of the mass of the Galactic Old Halo globular clustersystem. We propose its radial mass density profile to be a relic of thedistribution of the cold baryonic material in the protogalaxy. Assumingthat this one arises from the profile of the whole protogalaxy minus thecontribution of the dark matter (and a small contribution of the hot gasby which the protoglobular clouds were bound), we show that the massdistributions around the Galactic centre of this cold gas and of the OldHalo agree satisfactorily. In order to demonstrate our hypothesis evenmore conclusively, we simulate the evolution with time, up to an age of15Gyr, of a putative globular cluster system whose initial massdistribution in the Galactic halo follows the profile of the coldprotogalactic gas. We show that beyond a galactocentric distance oforder 2-3kpc, the initial shape of such a mass density profile ispreserved despite the complete destruction of some globular clusters andthe partial evaporation of some others. This result is almostindependent of the choice of the initial mass function for the globularclusters, which is still ill determined. The shape of these evolvedcluster system mass density profiles also agrees with the presentlyobserved profile of the Old Halo globular cluster system, thusstrengthening our hypothesis. Our result might suggest that theflattening shown by the Old Halo mass density profile at short distancesfrom the Galactic centre is, at least partly, of primordial origin.

The Australia Telescope National Facility Pulsar Catalogue
We have compiled a new and complete catalog of the main properties ofthe 1509 pulsars for which published information currently exists. Thecatalog includes all spin-powered pulsars, as well as anomalous X-raypulsars and soft gamma-ray repeaters showing coherent pulsed emission,but excludes accretion-powered systems. References are given for alldata listed. We have also developed a new World Wide Web interface foraccessing and displaying either tabular or plotted data with the optionof selecting pulsars to be displayed via logical conditions on parameterexpressions. The Web interface has an ``expert'' mode giving access to awider range of parameters and allowing the use of custom databases. Forusers with locally installed software and database on Unix or Linuxsystems, the catalog may be accessed from a command-line interface.C-language functions to access specified parameters are also available.The catalog is updated from time to time to include new information.

Ages and metallicities of star clusters: New calibrations and diagnostic diagrams from visible integrated spectra
We present homogeneous scales of ages and metallicities for starclusters from very young objects, through intermediate-age ones up tothe oldest known clusters. All the selected clusters have integratedspectra in the visible range, as well as reliable determinations oftheir ages and metallicities. From these spectra equivalent widths (EWs)of K Ca II, G band (CH) and Mg I metallic, and Hδ, Hγ andHβ Balmer lines have been measured homogeneously. The analysis ofthese EWs shows that the EW sums of the metallic and Balmer H lines,separately, are good indicators of cluster age for objects younger than10 Gyr, and that the former is also sensitive to cluster metallicity forages greater than 10 Gyr. We propose an iterative procedure forestimating cluster ages by employing two new diagnostic diagrams and agecalibrations based on the above EW sums. For clusters older than 10 Gyr,we also provide a calibration to derive their overall metal contents.

The initial helium abundance of the Galactic globular cluster system
In this paper we estimate the initial He content in about 30% of theGalactic globular clusters (GGCs) from new star counts we have performedon the recently published HST snapshot database of Colour MagnitudeDiagrams (Piotto et al. \cite{Piotto02}). More specifically, we use theso-called R-parameter and estimate the He content from a theoreticalcalibration based on a recently updated set of stellar evolution models.We performed an accurate statistical analysis in order to assess whetherGGCs show a statistically significant spread in their initial Heabundances, and whether there is a correlation with the clustermetallicity. As in previous works on the subject, we do not find anysignificant dependence of the He abundance on the cluster metallicity;this provides an important constraint for models of Galaxy formation andevolution. Apart from GGCs with the bluest Horizontal Branch morphology,the observed spread in the individual helium abundances is statisticallycompatible with the individual errors. This means that either there isno intrinsic abundance spread among the GGCs, or that this is masked bythe errors. In the latter case we have estimated a firm 1σ upperlimit of 0.019 to the possible intrinsic spread. In case of the GGCswith the bluest Horizontal Branch morphology we detect a significantspread towards higher abundances inconsistent with the individualerrors; this can be fully explained by additional effects not accountedfor in our theoretical calibrations, which do not affect the abundancesestimated for the clusters with redder Horizontal Branch morphology. Inthe hypothesis that the intrinsic dispersion on the individual Heabundances is zero, taking into account the errors on the individualR-parameter estimates, as well as the uncertainties on the clustermetallicity scale and theoretical calibration, we have determined aninitial He abundance mass fraction YGGC=0.250±0.006.This value is in perfect agreement with current estimates based onCosmic Microwave Background radiation analyses and cosmologicalnucleosynthesis computations.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA,Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555, and on observations retrieved withthe ESO ST-ECF Archive.

Analysis of the Quiescent Low-Mass X-Ray Binary Population in Galactic Globular Clusters
Quiescent low-mass X-ray binaries (qLMXBs) containing neutron stars havebeen identified in several globular clusters using Chandra or XMM X-rayobservations, via their distinctive soft thermal spectra. We report acomplete census of the qLMXB population in these clusters, identifyingthree additional probable qLMXBs in NGC 6440. We conduct severalanalyses of the qLMXB population and compare it with the harder,primarily cataclysmic variable (CV), population of low-luminosity X-raysources with1031ergss-1

The Red Giant Branch luminosity function bump
We present observational estimates of the magnitude difference betweenthe luminosity function red giant branch bump and the horizontal branch(Delta F555WbumpHB), and of star counts in thebump region (Rbump), for a sample of 54 Galactic globularclusters observed by the HST. The large sample of stars resolved in eachcluster, and the high photometric accuracy of the data allowed us todetect the bump also in a number of metal poor clusters. To reduce thephotometric uncertainties, empirical values are compared withtheoretical predictions obtained from a set of updated canonical stellarevolution models which have been transformed directly into the HSTflight system. We found an overall qualitative agreement between theoryand observations. Quantitative estimates of the confidence level arehampered by current uncertainties on the globular cluster metallicityscale, and by the strong dependence of DeltaF555WbumpHB on the cluster metallicity. In case ofthe Rbump parameter, which is only weakly affected by themetallicity, we find a very good quantitative agreement betweentheoretical canonical models and observations. For our full clustersample the average difference between predicted and observedRbump values is practically negligible, and ranges from-0.002 to -0.028, depending on the employed metallicity scale. Theobserved dispersion around these values is entirely consistent with theobservational errors on Rbump. As a comparison, the value ofRbump predicted by theory in case of spurious bump detectionsdue to Poisson noise in the stellar counts would be ~ 0.10 smaller thanthe observed ones. We have also tested the influence on the predictedDelta F555WbumpHB and Rbump values ofan He-enriched component in the cluster stellar population, as recentlysuggested by D'Antona et al. (\cite{d02}). We find that, underreasonable assumptions concerning the size of this He-enrichedpopulation and the degree of enrichment, the predicted DeltaF555WbumpHB and Rbump values are onlymarginally affected.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA,Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555, and on observations retrieved withthe ESO ST-ECF Archive.

Further results from the timing of the millisecond pulsars in 47 Tucanae
We have been observing the millisecond pulsars in the globular cluster47 Tucanae (47 Tuc) at the Parkes radio telescope since 1999 August withthreefold higher time-resolution than hitherto possible. We present theresults in this paper, including: improved 1400-MHz pulse profiles; onenew timing solution, for PSR J0024-7204S, which imposes stringentconstraints on the acceleration model for 47 Tucanae and implies aprojected mass-to-light ratio >1.4Msolar/Lsolar at the centre of the cluster;refined estimates for the five previously determined proper motions; andnewly determined proper motions for six pulsars. We have detected, forthe first time, relative motions between the pulsars. We have detected asecond period derivative for the pulsar in the PSR J0024-7204H binarysystem, which could indicate the presence of a third nearby object, andimproved measurement of the rate of advance of periastron of thispulsar, which yields a total system mass of 1.61 +/- 0.04Msolar. We also have determined upper limits for the massesof any hypothetical planets orbiting the pulsars in 47 Tuc. PSRJ0023-7203J shows variations of dispersion measure (DM) as a function oforbital phase with a total column density at superior conjunction ofabout 1.7 × 1016 cm-2, 10 times smaller thanobserved for a similar system in the Galaxy. We interpret the smallvalue as being due to a smaller inclination of the orbit of PSRJ0023-7203J. We find that the DM variation with orbital phase changeswith time, and we detect material at more than 90° (in orbitalphase) from the companion. PSR J0024-7204O also shows variations of DMwith orbital phase, but these are restricted to phases near the eclipse.This binary system displays significant monotonic variation of itsorbital period: . This is probably due to spin-orbit coupling; thiseffect seems to be significantly smaller for PSR J0023-7203J.

Globular Clusters as Candidates for Gravitational Lenses to Explain Quasar-Galaxy Associations
We argue that globular clusters (GCs) are good candidates forgravitational lenses in explaining quasar-galaxy associations. Thecatalog of associations (Bukhmastova 2001) compiled from the LEDAcatalog of galaxies (Paturel 1997) and from the catalog of quasars(Veron-Cetty and Veron 1998) is used. Based on the new catalog, we showthat one might expect an increased number of GCs around irregulargalaxies of types 9 and 10 from the hypothesis that distant compactsources are gravitationally lensed by GCs in the halos of foregroundgalaxies. The King model is used to determine the central surfacedensities of 135 GCs in the Milky Way. The distribution of GCs incentral surface density was found to be lognormal.

A Globular Cluster Metallicity Scale Based on the Abundance of Fe II
Assuming that in the atmospheres of low-mass, metal-poor red giantstars, one-dimensional models based on local thermodynamic equilibriumaccurately predict the abundance of iron from Fe II, we derive aglobular cluster metallicity scale based on the equivalent widths of FeII lines measured from high-resolution spectra of giants in 16 keyclusters lying in the abundance range-2.4<[Fe/H]II<-0.7. We base the scale largely on theanalysis of spectra of 149 giant stars in 11 clusters by the Lick-Texasgroup supplemented by high-resolution studies of giants in five otherclusters. We also derive ab initio the true distance moduli for certainkey clusters (M5, M3, M13, M92, and M15) as a means of setting stellarsurface gravities. Allowances are made for changes in the abundancescale if one employs (1) Kurucz models with and without convectiveovershooting to represent giant star atmospheres in place of MARCSmodels and (2) the Houdashelt et al. color-temperature scale in place ofthe Alonso et al. scale.We find that [Fe/H]II is correlated linearly withW', the reduced strength of the near-infrared Ca II tripletdefined by Rutledge et al., although the actual correlation coefficientsdepend on the atmospheric model employed. The correlations, limited tothe range -2.4<[Fe/H]II<-0.7, are as follows:1.[Fe/H]II=0.531W'-3.279(MARCS),2.[Fe/H]II=0.537W'-3.225 (Kurucz withconvective overshooting),3.[Fe/H]II=0.562W'-3.329 (Kurucz withoutconvective overshooting).We also discuss how to estimate [X/Fe] ratios. We suggest that C, N, andO, as well as elements appearing in the spectrum in the singly ionizedstate, e.g., Ti, Sc, Ba, La, and Eu, should be normalized to theabundance of Fe II. Other elements, which appear mostly in the neutralstate, but for which the dominant species is nevertheless the ionizedstate, are probably best normalized to Fe I, but uncertainties remain.

Fourier Techniques for Very Long Astrophysical Time-Series Analysis
We present an assortment of both standard and advanced Fouriertechniques that are useful in the analysis of astrophysical time seriesof very long duration-where the observation time is much greater thanthe time resolution of the individual data points. We begin by reviewingthe operational characteristics of Fourier transforms of time-seriesdata, including power-spectral statistics, discussing some of thedifferences between analyses of binned data, sampled data, and eventdata, and we briefly discuss algorithms for calculating discrete Fouriertransforms (DFTs) of very long time series. We then discuss the responseof DFTs to periodic signals and present techniques to recover Fourieramplitude ``lost'' during simple traditional analyses if theperiodicities change frequency during the observation. These techniquesinclude Fourier interpolation, which allows us to correct the responsefor signals that occur between Fourier frequency bins. We then presenttechniques for estimating additional signal properties such as thesignal's centroid and duration in time, the first and second derivativesof the frequency, the pulsed fraction, and an overall estimate of thesignificance of a detection. Finally, we present a recipe for a basicbut thorough Fourier analysis of a time series for well-behavedpulsations.

HST color-magnitude diagrams of 74 galactic globular clusters in the HST F439W and F555W bands
We present the complete photometric database and the color-magnitudediagrams for 74 Galactic globular clusters observed with the HST/WFPC2camera in the F439W and F555W bands. A detailed discussion of thevarious reduction steps is also presented, and of the procedures totransform instrumental magnitudes into both the HST F439W and F555Wflight system and the standard Johnson ( B ) and ( V ) systems. We alsodescribe the artificial star experiments which have been performed toderive the star count completeness in all the relevant branches of thecolor magnitude diagram. The entire photometric database and thecompleteness function will be made available on the Web immediatelyafter the publication of the present paper. Based on observations withthe NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space TelescopeScience Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contractNAS5-26555, and on observations retrieved from the ESO ST-ECF Archive.

Search for star clusters close to the Galactic plane with DENIS
An automated search for star clusters close to the Galactic plane (|b|< 5o) was carried out on the Point Source Catalogue of theDENIS survey. 44% of the Galactic plane have been observed andcalibrated. The method allowed to retrieve 22 known star clusters and toidentify two new ones, not published yet although previously presentedin the 2MASS web site as embedded clusters in HII regions. Extinction inthe field and in front of the clusters are estimated using a model ofpopulation synthesis. We present the method and give the properties ofthese clusters. Based on observations collected at ESO La Silla.

Variable Stars in Galactic Globular Clusters
Based on a search of the literature up to 2001 May, the number of knownvariable stars in Galactic globular clusters is approximately 3000. Ofthese, more than 2200 have known periods and the majority (approximately1800) are of the RR Lyrae type. In addition to the RR Lyrae population,there are approximately 100 eclipsing binaries, 120 SX Phoenicisvariables, 60 Cepheids (including Population II Cepheids, anomalousCepheids and RV Tauri), and 120 SR/red variables. The mean period of thefundamental mode RR Lyrae variables is 0.585 days, for the overtonevariables it is 0.342 days (0.349 days for the first-overtone pulsatorsand 0.296 days for the second-overtone pulsators) and approximately 30%are overtone pulsators. These numbers indicate that about 65% of RRLyrae variables in Galactic globular clusters belong to Oosterhoff typeI systems. The mean period of the RR Lyrae variables in the Oosterhofftype I clusters seems to be correlated with metal abundance in the sensethat the periods are longer in the more metal poor clusters. Such acorrelation does not exist for the Oosterhoff type II clusters. Most ofthe Cepheids are in clusters with blue horizontal branches.

A Search for Submillisecond Pulsars
We have conducted a search of 19 southern Galactic globular clusters forsubmillisecond pulsars at 660 MHz with the Parkes 64 m radio telescope.To minimize dispersion smearing we used the CPSR baseband recorder,which samples the 20 MHz observing band at the Nyquist rate. Bypossessing a complete description of the signal we could synthesize anoptimal filter bank in software, and in the case of globular clusters ofknown dispersion measure, much of the dispersion could be removed usingcoherent techniques. This allowed for very high time resolution (25.6μs in most cases), making our searches in general sensitive tosubmillisecond pulsars with flux densities greater than about 3 mJy at50 cm. No new pulsars were discovered, placing important constraints onthe proportion of pulsars with very short spin periods in theseclusters.

A Brown Dwarf Companion for the Accreting Millisecond Pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658
The BeppoSAX Wide Field Cameras have revealed a population of faintneutron star X-ray transients in the Galactic bulge. King conjecturedthat these neutron stars are accreting from brown dwarfs with atime-averaged mass transfer rate ~10-11Msolar yr-1 that is low enough for accretion diskinstabilities. We show that the measured orbital parameters of the 401Hz accreting millisecond pulsar SAX J1808.4-3658 support thishypothesis. A main-sequence mass donor requires a nearly face-oninclination and a higher than observed, and can thus beexcluded. However, the range of allowed inclinations is substantiallyrelaxed, and the predicted is consistent with that observed ifa hot 0.05 Msolar dwarf is the donor. The remaining puzzle isexplaining the brown dwarf radius required (0.13 Rsolar) tofill the Roche lobe. Recent observational and theoretical work has shownthat all transiently accreting neutron stars have a minimum luminosityin quiescence set by the time-averaged mass transfer rate onto theneutron star. We show here that the constant heating of the brown dwarfby this quiescent neutron star emission appears adequate to maintain thehigher entropy implied by a 0.13 Rsolar radius. All of ourconsiderations very strongly bolster the case that SAX J1808.4-3658 is aprogenitor to compact millisecond radio pulsar binaries (e.g., likethose found by Camilo and collaborators in 47 Tuc). The very low of SAX J1808.4-3658 implies that the progenitors to theseradio pulsars are long-lived (~Gyr) transient systems, rather thanshort-lived (~Myr) Eddington-limited accretors. Hence, the accretingprogenitor population to millisecond radio pulsars in 47 Tuc could stillbe present and found in quiescence with Chandra.

A Reexamination of the Distribution of Galactic Free Electrons
We present a list of 109 pulsars with independent distance informationcompiled from the literature. Since the compilation of Frail &Weisberg, there are 35 pulsars with new distance estimates and 25pulsars for which the distance or distance uncertainty have beenrevised. We used this data to fit a smooth, axisymmetric, two-disk modelof the distribution of Galactic electrons. The two exponential modelcomponents have mean local midplane densities at the solar circle of2.03×10-2 and 0.71×10-2cm-3, and scale heights of 1.07 and 0.053 kpc. The thickcomponent shows very little radial variation, while the second has aradial scale length of only a few kiloparsecs. We also examined a modelthat varies as sech2x, rather than exp(-x), in both theradial and vertical directions. We prefer this model with no midplanecusp but find that the fit parameters essentially describe the sameelectron distribution. The distances predicted by this distribution havea similar scatter to that produced by the more complex model of Taylor& Cordes. We examine the pulsars that deviate strongly from thismodel. There are two regions of enhanced dispersion measure, one ofwhich correlates well with the Sagittarius-Carina spiral arm. We findthat the scatter of the observed dispersion measure from the model isnot fitted well by either a normal or a lognormal distribution of lumpsizes but may be caused instead by the uncertainties in the distances.

A census with ROSAT of low-luminosity X-ray sources in globular clusters
I analyze 101 observations from the ROSAT archive to search for X-raysources in or near 55 globular clusters. New sources are found in thecores of NGC 362 (a double source), NGC 6121 (marginally significant),NGC 6139, and NGC 6266; and outside the cores of NGC 6205, NGC 6352 andNGC 6388. More accurate positions are determined for the X-ray sourcesin some ten clusters. The improved position for the source in NGC 6341excludes the suggested ultraviolet counterpart. It is shown that one ofthe two sources reported near the core of NGC 6626 is spurious, as isthe detection of a pulsar period in the PSPC data of this cluster; thecentral source is resolved in three sources. One source reportedpreviously in NGC 6304 is demoted to an upper limit. For 20 clustercores better upper limits to the X-ray luminosity are obtained. From astatistical analysis I argue that several sources outside the clustercores may well belong to the clusters. All spectral energy distributionsobserved so far are relatively soft, with bremsstrahlung temperatures =~0.9 keV; there is evidence however that bremsstrahlung spectra do notcorrectly describe the spectra. The X-ray luminosity per unit mass forthe cluster as a whole does not depend on the concentration; theluminosity per unit mass for the core may increase with the clusterconcentration.

Discovery of Short-Period Binary Millisecond Pulsars in Four Globular Clusters
We report the discovery, using the Parkes radio telescope, of binarymillisecond pulsars in four clusters for which no associated pulsarswere previously known. The four pulsars have pulse periods lying between3 and 6 ms. All are in circular orbits with low-mass companions and haveorbital periods of a few days or less. One is in a 1.7 hr orbit with acompanion of planetary mass. Another is eclipsed by a wind from itscompanion for 40% of the binary period despite being in a relativelywide orbit. These discoveries result from the use of improvedtechnologies and prove that many millisecond pulsars remain to be foundin globular clusters.

Submit a new article

Related links

  • - No Links Found -
Submit a new link

Member of following groups:

Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:18h07m20.64s
Apparent magnitude:8.3

Catalogs and designations:
Proper Names   (Edit)
NGC 2000.0NGC 6544

→ Request more catalogs and designations from VizieR