Having shown in a recent paper that the main sequence of ω Centauri is split into two distinct branches, we now present spectroscopic results showing that the bluer sequence is less metal-poor. We have carefully combined VLT's GIRAFFE spectra of 17 stars on each side of the split into a single spectrum for each branch, with adequate signal-to-noise ratio, to show clearly that the stars of the blue main sequence are less metal-poor by 0.3 dex than those of the dominant red one. From an analysis of the individual spectra, we could not detect any abundance spread among the blue main-sequence stars, whereas the red main-sequence stars show a 0.2 dex spread in metallicity. We use stellar structure models to show that only greatly enhanced helium can explain the color difference between the two main sequences, and we discuss ways in which this enhancement could have arisen. Based on observations with the ESO Very Large Telescope + FLAMES at the Paranal Observatory, Chile, under DDT program 272.D-5065.

Metallicities on the Double Main Sequence of Omeega Centauri Imply Large Hel ium Enhancement

PIOTTO, GIAMPAOLO;VILLANOVA, SANDRO;BEDIN, LUIGI;AL MOMANY, YAZAN;RECIO BLANCO, ALEJANDRA;CARRARO, GIOVANNI
2005

Abstract

Having shown in a recent paper that the main sequence of ω Centauri is split into two distinct branches, we now present spectroscopic results showing that the bluer sequence is less metal-poor. We have carefully combined VLT's GIRAFFE spectra of 17 stars on each side of the split into a single spectrum for each branch, with adequate signal-to-noise ratio, to show clearly that the stars of the blue main sequence are less metal-poor by 0.3 dex than those of the dominant red one. From an analysis of the individual spectra, we could not detect any abundance spread among the blue main-sequence stars, whereas the red main-sequence stars show a 0.2 dex spread in metallicity. We use stellar structure models to show that only greatly enhanced helium can explain the color difference between the two main sequences, and we discuss ways in which this enhancement could have arisen. Based on observations with the ESO Very Large Telescope + FLAMES at the Paranal Observatory, Chile, under DDT program 272.D-5065.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2465524
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