The horizontal branch of NGC 1851: constraints from its RR Lyrae variables.
KUNDER A., SALARIS M., CASSISI S., DE PROPRIS R., WALKER A., STETSON P.B., CATELAN M. and AMIGO P.
Abstract (from CDS):
We use the pulsational properties of the RR Lyrae variables in the globular cluster NGC 1851 to obtain detailed constraints of the various sub-stellar populations present along its horizontal branch. On the basis of detailed synthetic horizontal branch modeling, we find that minor helium variations (Y ∼ 0.248-0.280) are able to reproduce the observed periods and amplitudes of the RR Lyrae variables, as well as the frequency of fundamental and first-overtone RR Lyrae stars. Comparison of number ratios among the blue and red horizontal branch components and the two observed subgiant branches also suggest that the RR Lyrae variables originated from the progeny of the bright subgiant branch. The RR Lyrae variables with slightly enhanced helium (Y ∼ 0.270-0.280) have longer periods at a given amplitude, as is seen with Oosterhoff II (OoII) RR Lyrae variables, whereas the RR Lyrae variables with Y ∼ 0.248-0.270 have shorter periods, exhibiting properties of Oosterhoff I (OoI) variables. This correlation does suggest that the pulsational properties of RR Lyrae stars can be very useful for tracing the various subpopulations and can provide suitable constraints on the multiple population phenomenon. It appears to be of great interest to explore whether this conclusion can be generalized to other globular clusters hosting multiple populations.
Galaxy: stellar content - globular clusters: general - globular clusters: individual: NGC 1851 - stars: horizontal-branch - stars: Population II - stars: variables: RR Lyrae