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A new search for planet transits in NGC 6791
Context: Searching for planets in open clusters allows us to study theeffects of dynamical environment on planet formation and evolution. Aims: Considering the strong dependence of planet frequency on stellarmetallicity, we studied the metal rich old open cluster NGC6791 and searched for close-in planets using the transittechnique. Methods: A ten-night observational campaign was performedusing the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (3.6 m), the San PedroMártir telescope (2.1 m), and the Loiano telescope (1.5 m). Toincrease the transit detection probability we also made use of theBruntt et al. (2003, A&A, 410, 323) eight-nights observationalcampaign. Adequate photometric precision for the detection of planetarytransits was achieved. Results: Should the frequency and properties ofclose-in planets in NGC 6791 be similar to thoseorbiting field stars of similar metallicity, then detailed simulationsforesee the presence of 2-3 transiting planets. Instead, we do notconfirm the transit candidates proposed by Bruntt et al. (2003, A&A,410, 323). The probability that the null detection is simply due tochance coincidence is estimated to be 3%-10%, depending on themetallicity assumed for the cluster. Conclusions: Possible explanationsof the null-detection of transits include: (i) a lower frequency ofclose-in planets in star clusters; (ii) a smaller planetary radius forplanets orbiting super metal rich stars; or (iii) limitations in thebasic assumptions. More extensive photometry with 3-4 m class telescopesis required to allow conclusive inferences about the frequency ofplanets in NGC 6791.Based on observation obtained at theCanada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) which isoperated by the National Research Council of Canada, theInstitut National des Sciences de l'Univers of the CentreNational de la Recherche Scientifique of France, and theUniversity of Hawaii and on observations obtained at San PedroMártir 2.1 m telescope (Mexico),and Loiano 1.5 m telescope (Italy).

Element abundances in the metal-rich open cluster NGC 6253
Context: We have carried out a big FLAMES survey of 10 Galactic openclusters aiming at different goals. One of them is the determination ofchemical abundances, to put constraints on the radial metallicitygradient in the disk and its evolution. One of the sample clusters isthe very metal-rich NGC 6253. Aims: We have obtained UVES highresolution spectra of seven candidate cluster members (from the turn offup to the red clump) with the goal of determining the chemicalcomposition of NGC 6253 and of investigating its origin and role in theinterpretation of the radial metallicity gradient in the disk. Methods:Equivalent width analysis and spectral synthesis were performed usingMOOG and Kurucz model atmospheres. Results: We derived abundances ofFe, α-, and Fe-peak elements, the light element Na, and thes-process element Ba. Excluding two likely non-members and the clumpgiant, whose metallicity from equivalent widths is overestimated, wefind an average [Fe/H] = +0.36±0.07 (rms) for the cluster. Formost of the other elements we derive solar abundance ratios.Based on observations collected at ESO telescopes under program072.D-0550(A). Table 3 is only available in electronic form at the CDSvia anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/465/185

New catalogue of blue stragglers in open clusters
We present a catalogue of blue-straggler candidates in galactic openclusters. It is based on the inspection of the colour-magnitude diagramsof the clusters, and it updates and supersedesthe first version(Ahumada & Lapasset 1995). A new bibliographical search was made foreach cluster, and the resulting information is organised into twotables. Some methodological aspects have been revised, in particularthose concerning the delimitation of the area in the diagrams where thestragglers are selected.A total of 1887 blue-straggler candidates have been found in 427 openclusters of all ages, doubling the original number. The catalogued starsare classified into two categories mainly according to membershipinformation.The whole catalogue (Tables 8, 9, notes, and references) is onlyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/463/789

On the current status of open-cluster parameters
We aim to characterize the current status of knowledge on the accuracyof open-cluster parameters such as the age, reddening and distance.These astrophysical quantities are often used to study the globalcharacteristics of the Milky Way down to the very local stellarphenomena. In general, the errors of these quantities are neglected orset to some kind of heuristic standard value. We attempt to give somerealistic estimates for the accuracy of available cluster parameters byusing the independently derived values published in the literature. Intotal, 6437 individual estimates for 395 open clusters were used in ourstatistical analysis. We discuss the error sources depending ontheoretical as well as observational methods and compare our resultswith those parameters listed in the widely used catalogue by Dias et al.In addition, we establish a list of 72 open clusters with the mostaccurate known parameters which should serve as a standard table in thefuture for testing isochrones and stellar models.

Old open clusters as key tracers of Galactic chemical evolution. I. Fe abundances in NGC 2660, NGC 3960, and Berkeley 32
Aims.We obtained high-resolution UVES/FLAMES observations of a sample ofnine old open clusters spanning a wide range of ages and Galactocentricradii. The goal of the project is to investigate the radial metallicitygradient in the disk, as well as the abundance of key elements (αand Fe-peak elements). In this paper we present the results for themetallicity of three clusters: NGC 2660 (age ~1 Gyr, Galactocentricdistance of 8.68 kpc), NGC 3960 (~1 Gyr, 7.80 kpc), and Be 32 (~6-7 Gyr,11.30 kpc). For Be 32 and NGC 2660, our study provides the firstmetallicity determination based on high-resolution spectra.Methods: .We performed equivalent width analysis with the spectral codeMOOG, which allows us to define a metallicity scale and build ahomogeneous sample. Results: .We find that NGC 3960 and NGC 2660have a metallicity that is very close to solar ([Fe/H] = +0.02 and+0.04, respectively), while the older Be 32 turns out to have [Fe/H] =-0.29.

uvbyCaHβ CCD Photometry of Clusters. VII. The Intermediate-Age Anticenter Cluster Melotte 71
CCD photometry on the intermediate-band uvbyCaHβ system ispresented for the anticenter, intermediate-age open cluster Melotte 71.Restricting the data to probable single members of the cluster using thecolor-magnitude diagram and the photometric indices alone generates asample of 48 F dwarfs on the unevolved main sequence. The averageE(b-y)=0.148+/-0.003 (standard error of the mean [s.e.m.]) orE(B-V)=0.202+/-0.004 (s.e.m.), where the errors refer to internal errorsalone. With this reddening, [Fe/H] is derived from both m1and hk, using Hβ and b-y as the temperature index, with excellentagreement among the four approaches and a final weighted average of[Fe/H]=-0.17+/-0.02 (s.e.m.) for the cluster, on a scale in which theHyades has [Fe/H]=+0.12. When adjusted for the higher reddeningestimate, the previous metallicity estimates from Washington photometryand from spectroscopy are now in agreement with the intermediate-bandresult. From comparisons to isochrones of appropriate metallicity, thecluster age and distance are determined as 0.9+/-0.1 Gyr and(m-M)=12.2+/-0.1 or (m-M)0=11.6+/-0.1. At this distance fromthe Sun, Mel 71 has a galactocentric distance of 10.0 kpc on a scale inwhich the Sun is 8.5 kpc from the Galactic center. Based on its age,distance, and elemental abundances, Mel 71 appears to be a less populousanalog to NGC 3960.

Photometric and Coravel observations of red giant candidates in three open clusters: membership, binarity, reddening and metallicity
Aims.We present new CORAVEL radial-velocity observations andphotoelectric photometry in the UBV and DDO systems for a sample ofpotential members of the red-giant branches of NGC 6192, NGC 6208 andNGC 6268, three open clusters projected close to the Galactic centerdirection. We also examine the properties of a sample of 42 inner diskopen clusters projected towards almost the same direction as the threeclusters. Methods: .Cluster members and red field giants werediscriminated by using the CORAVEL radial-velocity data and by applyingtwo photometric criteria. Interstellar reddening and metal content ofthe clusters were derived from combined BV and DDO data. Results:.Cluster membership for five red giants in NGC 6192, three in NGC 6208and three in NGC 6268 has been confirmed by the analysis of thephotometric and kinematic data. Photometric membership probabilitiesshow very good agreement with those obtained from CORAVEL radialvelocities. Three new spectroscopic binaries were discovered among thered giants of NGC 6192 and NGC 6208. Mean radial velocities and E(B-V)colour excesses were derived. Conclusions: .The overallmetallicities were found to be nearly solar for NGC 6208 and above solarfor NGC 6192 and NGC 6268. Most of the clusters located closer than 2kpc from the Sun in the considered direction are slightly more reddenedthan the absorption resulting from the Baade's window absorption law.

BVI photometry of the very old open cluster Berkeley 17*
We have obtained BVI CCD imaging of Berkeley 17, an anticentre opencluster that competes with NGC 6791 as the oldest known open cluster.Using the synthetic colour-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) technique withthree sets of evolutionary tracks, we have determined that its age is8.5-9.0 Gyr, it distance modulus is (m - M)0 = 12.2, with areddening of E(B - V) = 0.62-0.60. Differential reddening, if present,is at the 5 per cent level. All these values have been obtained usingmodels with metallicity about half of solar (Z = 0.008 or 0.01 dependingon the stellar evolution tracks), which allows us to reproduce thefeatures of the cluster CMD better than other metallicities. Finally,from the analysis of a nearby comparison field, we think to haveintercepted a portion of the disrupting Canis Major dwarf galaxy.

Element abundances of unevolved stars in the open cluster M 67
Context: .The star-to-star scatter in lithium abundances observed amongotherwise similar stars in the solar-age open cluster M 67 is one of themost puzzling results in the context of the so called "lithium problem".Among other explanations, the hypothesis has been proposed that thedispersion in Li is due to star-to-star differences in Fe or otherelement abundances which are predicted to affect Li depletion. Aims: .The primary goal of this study is the determination of themetallicity ([Fe/H]), α- and Fe-peak abundances in a sample ofLi-poor and Li-rich stars belonging to M 67, in order to test thishypothesis. By comparison with previous studies, the presentinvestigation also allows us to check for intrinsic differences in theabundances of evolved and unevolved cluster stars and to draw moresecure conclusions on the abundance pattern of this cluster.Methods: .We have carried out an analysis of high resolution UVES/VLTspectra of eight unevolved and two slightly evolved cluster membersusing MOOG and measured equivalent widths. For all the stars we havedetermined [Fe/H] and element abundances for O, Na, Mg, Al, Si, Ca, Ti,Cr and Ni. Results: .We find an average metallicity [Fe/H] =0.03±0.01, in very good agreement with previous determinations.All the [ X/Fe] abundance ratios are very close to solar. Thestar-to-star scatter in [Fe/H] and [ X/Fe] ratios for all elements,including oxygen, is lower than 0.05 dex, implying that the largedispersion in lithium among cluster stars is not due to differences inthese element abundances. We also find that, when using a homogeneousscale, the abundance pattern of unevolved stars in our sample is verysimilar to that of evolved stars, suggesting that, at least in thiscluster, RGB and clump stars have not undergone any chemical processing.Finally, our results show that M 67 has a chemical composition that isrepresentative of the solar neighborhood.

The Bologna Open Cluster Chemical Evolution Project: Midterm Results from the Photometric Sample
We describe a long-term project aimed at deriving information on thechemical evolution of the Galactic disk from a large sample of openclusters. The main property of this project is that all clusters areanalyzed in a homogeneous way to guarantee the robustness of the rankingin age, distance, and metallicity. Special emphasis is devoted to theevolution of the earliest phases of the Galactic disk evolution, forwhich clusters have superior reliability with respect to other types ofevolution indicators. The project is twofold: on one hand we derive theage, distance, and reddening (and indicative metallicity) byinterpreting deep and accurate photometric data with stellar evolutionmodels, and on the other hand, we derive the chemical abundances fromhigh-resolution spectroscopy. Here we describe our overall goals andapproaches and report on the midterm project status of the photometricpart, with 16 clusters already studied, covering an age interval from0.1 to 6 Gyr and galactocentric distances from 6.6 to 21 kpc. Theimportance of quantifying the theoretical uncertainties by deriving thecluster parameters with various sets of stellar models is emphasized.Stellar evolution models assuming overshooting from convective regionsappear to better reproduce the photometric properties of the clusterstars. The examined clusters show a clear metallicity dependence on thegalactocentric distance and no dependence on age. The tight relationbetween cluster age and magnitude difference between the main-sequenceturnoff and the red clump is confirmed.

Absolute dimensions of detached eclipsing binaries - I. The metallic-lined system WW Aurigae
WW Aurigae is a detached eclipsing binary composed of two metallic-linedA-type stars orbiting each other every 2.5 d. We have determined themasses and radii of both components to accuracies of 0.4 and 0.6 percent, respectively. From a cross-correlation analysis of high-resolutionspectra we find masses of 1.964 +/- 0.007 Msolar for theprimary star and 1.814 +/- 0.007 Msolar for the secondarystar. From an analysis of photoelectric uvby and UBV light curves wefind the radii of the stars to be 1.927 +/- 0.011 Rsolar and1.841 +/- 0.011 Rsolar, where the uncertainties have beencalculated using a Monte Carlo algorithm. Fundamental effectivetemperatures of the two stars have been derived, using the Hipparcosparallax of WW Aur and published ultraviolet, optical and infraredfluxes; these are 7960 +/- 420 and 7670 +/- 410 K. The masses, radii andeffective temperatures of WW Aur are only matched by theoreticalevolutionary models for a fractional initial metal abundance, Z, ofapproximately 0.06 and an age of roughly 90 Myr. This seems to be thehighest metal abundance inferred for a well-studied detached eclipsingbinary, but we find no evidence that it is related to the metallic-linednature of the stars. The circular orbit of WW Aur is in conflict withthe circularization time-scales of both the Tassoul and the Zahn tidaltheories and we suggest that this is due to pre-main-sequence evolutionor the presence of a circular orbit when the stars were formed.

FLAMES observations of old open clusters: Constraints on the evolution of the Galactic disc and mixing processes in stars.
Not Available

Searching for Planetary Transits in Galactic Open Clusters: EXPLORE/OC
Open clusters potentially provide an ideal environment for the searchfor transiting extrasolar planets, since they feature a relatively largenumber of stars of the same known age and metallicity at the samedistance. With this motivation, over a dozen open clusters are now beingmonitored by four different groups. We review the motivations andchallenges for open cluster transit surveys for short-period giantplanets. Our photometric monitoring survey of Galactic southern openclusters, the Extrasolar Planet Occultation Research/Open Clusters(EXPLORE/OC) project, was designed with the goals of maximizing thechance of finding and characterizing planets and of providing astatistically valuable astrophysical result in the case of nodetections. We use the EXPLORE/OC data from two open clusters, NGC 2660and NGC 6208, to illustrate some of the largely unrecognized issuesfacing open cluster surveys, including severe contamination by Galacticfield stars (>80%) and the relatively low number of cluster membersfor which high-precision photometry can be obtained. We discuss how acareful selection of open cluster targets under a wide range of criteriasuch as cluster richness, observability, distance, and age can meet thechallenges, maximizing chances to detect planet transits. In addition,we present the EXPLORE/OC observing strategy to optimize planetdetection, which includes high-cadence observing and continuouslyobserving individual clusters rather than alternating between targets.

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.

uvbyCaHβ CCD Photometry of Clusters. IV. Solving the Riddle of NGC 3680
CCD photometry on the intermediate-band uvbyCaHβ system ispresented for the open cluster, NGC 3680. Restricting the data toprobable cluster members using the color-magnitude diagram (CMD) and thephotometric indices alone defines a sample of 34 stars at the clusterturnoff that imply E(b-y)=0.042+/-0.002 (s.e.m.) or E(B-V)=0.058+/-0.003(s.e.m.), where the errors refer to internal errors alone. With thisreddening, [Fe/H] is derived from both m1 and hk using bothb-y and Hβ as the temperature indices. The agreement among the fourapproaches is excellent, leading to final value of [Fe/H]=-0.14+/-0.03for the cluster and removing the apparent discrepancy between the pastuvby analyses and extensive results from the red giants. The primarysource of the photometric anomaly appears to be a zero-point offset inthe original m1 indices. Using the homogenized and combinedV, b-y data from a variety of studies transformed to B-V, the clusterCMD is compared with NGC 752, IC 4651, and the core-convective-overshootisochrones of Girardi et al. By interpolation to the proper metallicity,it is found that the E(B-V), m-M, and age for NGC 752, IC 4651, and NGC3680 are (0.03, 8.30, 1.55 Gyr), (0.10, 10.20, 1.7 Gyr), and (0.06,10.20, 1.85 Gyr), respectively. The revised age and metallicity sequenceand the color distribution of the giants provide evidence for thesuggestion that the giants defining the apparent clump in NGC 3680 arepredominantly first-ascent giants, as indicated by their Li abundance,while the clump stars in NGC 752, 0.1 mag bluer in B-V, areHe-core-burning stars. When combined with the color distribution in IC4651, it is suggested that over this modest age range where He-coreflash becomes important, the distribution of so-called clump starsswitches from being dominated by He-core-burning stars to first-ascentgiants in the bump phase.

The effects of age on red giant metallicities derived from the near-infrared CaII triplet
We have obtained spectra with a resolution of ~2.5 Å in the regionof ~7500-9500Å for 116 red giants in five galactic globularclusters and six old open clusters (five with published metallicitiesand one previously unmeasured). The signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio lieswithin the range 20 <= S/N <= 85. We measure the equivalent widthsof the infrared CaII triplet absorption lines in each star and comparethem with cluster metallicities taken from the literature. With globularcluster abundances on the Carretta & Gratton scale, and open clusterabundances taken from the compilation of Friel and collaborators, wefind a linear relation between [Fe/H] and CaII line strength spanningthe range -2 <~[Fe/H]<~-0.2 and 2.5 <~ (age/Gyr) <~ 13. Thereference abundance scales appear to be consistent with each other atthe ~0.1 dex level. Alternate choices for metallicity scales canintroduce curvature into the relation between the [Fe/H] and CaIIequivalent width. No evidence for an age effect on the metallicitycalibration is observed. Using this calibration, we find the metallicityof the massive, old, open cluster Trumpler 5 to be [Fe/H]=-0.56 +/-0.11. This is the first spectroscopic abundance measurement for Trumpler5, and is lower by ~0.3 dex than estimates based on the clustercolour-magnitude diagram. Considering the 10 clusters of knownmetallicity shifted to a common distance and reddening, we find that theadditional error introduced by the variation of horizontal branch/redclump magnitude with metallicity and age is of the order of +/-0.05 dex,which can be neglected in comparison with the intrinsic scatter in themethod. The results are discussed in the context of abundancedeterminations for red giants in Local Group galaxies.

Target Selection for SETI. II. Tycho-2 Dwarfs, Old Open Clusters, and the Nearest 100 Stars
We present the full target list and prioritization algorithm developedfor use by the microwave search for technological signals at the SETIInstitute. We have included the Catalog of Nearby Habitable StellarSystems (HabCat, described in Paper I), all of the nearest 100 stars and14 old open clusters. This is further augmented by a subset of theTycho-2 catalog based on reduced proper motions, and this larger catalogshould routinely provide at least three target stars within the largeprimary field of view of the Allen Telescope Array. The algorithm forprioritizing objects in the full target list includes scoring based onthe subset category of each target (i.e., HabCat, cluster, Tycho-2, ornearest 100), its distance (if known), and its proximity to the Sun onthe color-magnitude diagram.

On the Galactic Disk Metallicity Distribution from Open Clusters. I. New Catalogs and Abundance Gradient
We have compiled two new open cluster catalogs. In the first one, thereare 119 objects with ages, distances, and metallicities available, whilein the second one, 144 objects have both absolute proper motion andradial velocity data, of which 45 clusters also have metallicity dataavailable. Taking advantage of the large number of objects included inour sample, we present an iron radial gradient of about -0.063+/-0.008dex kpc-1 from the first sample, which is quite consistentwith the most recent determination of the oxygen gradient from nebulaeand young stars, about -0.07 dex kpc-1. By dividing clustersinto age groups, we show that the iron gradient was steeper in the past,which is consistent with the recent result from Galactic planetarynebulae data, and also consistent with inside-out galactic diskformation scenarios. Based on the cluster sample, we also discuss themetallicity distribution, cluster kinematics, and space distribution. Adisk age-metallicity relation could be implied by those properties,although we cannot give conclusive result from the age- metallicitydiagram based on the current sample. More observations are needed formetal-poor clusters. From the second catalog, we have calculated thevelocity components in cylindrical coordinates with respect to theGalactic standard of rest for 144 open clusters. The velocitydispersions of the older clusters are larger than those of youngclusters, but they are all much smaller than that of the Galactic thickdisk stars.

CCD uvbyCaHβ Photometry of Clusters. III. The Most Metal-Rich Open Cluster, NGC 6253
CCD photometry on the intermediate-band uvbyCaHβ system ispresented for the old open cluster NGC 6253. Despite a high level offield star contamination because of its location toward the Galacticcenter, combination of the data from the multiple color indices with thecore cluster sample derived from radial star counts leads to theidentification of a set of highly probable, single cluster members.Photometric analysis of a select sample of 71 turnoff stars produces areddening value of E(b-y)=0.190+/-0.002 (s.e.m.) or E(B-V)=0.260+/-0.003(s.e.m.). The metallicity indices, δm1 and δhk,both identify this cluster as the most metal-rich object studied oneither system to date. Simple extrapolation of the available metallicitycalibrations leads to [Fe/H] values ranging from +0.7 to +0.9.Metal-rich isochrones with overshoot imply an age between 2.5 and 3.5Gyr, with an apparent distance modulus between (m-M)=11.6 and 12.2,depending upon the isochrones used. The improvement in the fit usingα-enhanced isochrones may indicate that the cluster [Fe/H] iscloser to +0.4, but the photometric indices are distorted by anelemental distribution other than a scaled solar. The Galactocentricposition of the cluster, in conjunction with data for other clusters andCepheids, is consistent with the inner disk reaching and maintaining ametallicity well above solar since the early history of the disk, unlikethe solar neighborhood.

Morphological analysis of open clusters' propertiesII. Relationships projected onto the galactic plane
A morphological analysis study of open clusters' properties has beenachieved for a sample of 160 UBVCCD open star clusters of approximately128,000 stars near the galactic plane. The data was obtained and reducedfrom using the same reduction procedures, which makes this catalogue thelargest homogeneous source of open clusters' parameters.

Integrated spectral evolution of Galactic open clusters
We present a library of 47 open-cluster integrated spectra, mostlyobtained at CASLEO (San Juan, Argentina) in the range 3600 < λ< 7400 Å, which are made available at CDS. The data arecombined with previous spectra to obtain 10 high signal-to-noise ratiobasic templates in the young and intermediate-age domains, which arealso provided in the library. These Galactic disc templates representthe increased time resolution spectral evolution of a stellar populationunit around the Solar metallicity level. The improved signal-to-noiseratio of the present templates with respect to previous template lists,together with their increased time resolution, allowed us to improve thefundamental parameters of some open clusters. The present spectrallibrary will be useful for several astrophysical applications,particularly for population syntheses of star-forming giant galaxies.

Integrated photometric characteristics of galactic open star clusters
Integrated UBVRI photometric parameters of 140 galactic open clustershave been computed. Integrated I(V-R)0 and I(V-I)0colours as well as integrated parameters for 71 star clusters have beenobtained for the first time. These, in combination with published data,altogether 352 objects, are used to study the integrated photometriccharacteristics of the galactic open clusters. The I(MV)values range from -9.0 to -1.0 mag corresponding to a range in totalmass of the star clusters from ~ 25 to 4*E4 Msun.The integrated colours have a relatively narrow range, e.g., I(B-V){_0}varies from -0.4 to 1.2 mag. The scatter in integrated colours at agiven integrated magnitude can be understood in terms of differences infraction of red giants/supergiants in the clusters. The observedintegrated magnitudes and colours agree with the synthetic ones, exceptthe dependences of I(V-R)0 and I(V-I)0 colours forclusters younger than ~ 100 Myrs and also of the integrated magnitudesof oldest clusters. The large sample provides the most accurate agedependence of integrated magnitudes and colours determined so far. Theluminosity function of the I(MV) has a peak around -3.5 magand its slope indicates that only ~ 1% of the open clusters in thegalactic disc are brighter than I(MV)=-11 mag. No variationhas been found of integrated magnitude with galactocentric distance andmetallicity.

Abundance Gradient from Open Clusters and Implications for the Galactic Disk Evolution
We compile a new sample of 89 open clusters with ages, distances andmetallicities available. We derive a radial iron gradient of about-0.099±0.008 dexkpc (unweighted) for the whole sample, which issomewhat greater than the most recent determination of oxygen gradientfrom nebulae and young stars. By dividing the clusters into age groups,we show that the iron gradient was steeper in the past and has evolvedslowly in time. Current data show a substantial scatter of the clustermetallicities indicating that the Galactic disk has undergone a veryrapid, inhomogeneous enrichment.Also, based on a simple, but quitesuccessful model of chemical evolution of the Milky Way disk, we make adetailed calculation of the iron abundance gradient and its timeevolution. The predicted current iron gradient is about -0.072 dexkpc.The model also predicts a steady flattening of the iron gradient withtime, which agrees with the result from our open cluster sample.

Pismis 2: a poorly studied, intermediate-age open cluster
We present CCD BVI photometry of the intermediate-age open clusterPismis 2, covering from the brighter red giants to about 5mag below themain-sequence turn-off. The cluster is heavily reddened and is possiblyaffected by a differential reddening of ΔE(B-V)~=0.04-0.06. Usingthe synthetic colour-magnitude diagram method, we estimate the distancemodulus, (m-M)0~=12.5-12.7, and age, τ~=1.1-1.2Gyr, in aself-consistent way. The cluster probably contains a significantfraction of binary systems. The metallicity is most likely solar and thereddening E(B-V) ranges between 1.26 and 1.32 depending on the clusterregion.

A multicolour CCD photometric and mass function study of the distant southern open star clusters NGC 3105, NGC 3603, Melotte 105, Hogg 15, NGC 4815, Pismis 20 and NGC 6253
We derive cluster parameters and mass functions from new UBVRI CCDphotometric observations of ~3500 stars reaching down to V~20mag for thedistant southern open star clusters NGC 3105, NGC 3603, Melotte 105,Hogg 15, NGC 4815, Pismis 20 and NGC 6253. For NGC 3105 and Hogg 15, CCDdata are presented for the first time. The reddening is non-uniformacross the face of the young (age <300Myr) clusters NGC 3105, NGC3603, Melotte 105, Hogg 15 and Pismis 20, with average values ofE(B-V)=1.06, 1.44, 0.52, 1.15 and 1.20mag respectively, while it isuniform with average values of E(B-V)=0.72 and 0.20mag for the olderclusters NGC 4815 and 6253 respectively. The values of colour excessratios indicate the presence of normal interstellar reddening across thecluster regions studied here. Well-defined main sequences can be seen inall the clusters. However, main-sequence turn-off points and subgiantbranches are well defined only in the older clusters NGC 4815 and 6253.The distances to the clusters NGC 3105, NGC 3603, Melotte 105, Hogg 15,NGC 4815, Pismis 20 and NGC 6253 are 9.5+/-1.5, 7.2+/-1.2, 2.3+/-0.2,3.0+/-0.3, 2.75+/-0.2, 3.55+/-0.35 and 1.8+/-0.12kpc respectively, whilethe corresponding ages derived using theoretical convective coreovershooting stellar evolutionary isochrones are 25+/-10, 3+/-2,250+/-30, 6+/-2, 400+/-50, 6+/-2 and 2500+/-600Myr respectively. In themass range ~1-75Msolar, the mass functions of all clustersexcept for NGC 6253 have been studied. The slopes of their mass spectraagree within errors with the Salpeter value (1.35). The slope of themass function for stars more massive than 10Msolar is almostthe same as for the lower mass stars. The mass function slopes ofclusters younger than 500Myr seem to have no dependence on Galacticlongitude, Galactocentric distance and cluster age. As the inherentuncertainties in the mass function determinations of young Galactic starclusters can produce internal scatter that is larger than the externalscatter, we conclude that, above 1Msolar, the initial massfunction is universal with a slope of Salpeter value.

The EIS Pre-FLAMES Survey: observations of selected stellar fields
Not Available

Morphological analysis of open clusters' propertiesI. Properties' estimations
A sample of 160 UBVCCD observations of open star clusters near thegalactic plane has been studied, and a catalogue of their propertiesobtained. The main photometrical properties have been re-estimated selfconsistently and the results have been compared with those of Lynga[Lynga, G., 1987. Catalog of Open Cluster Data, 5th Edition, StellarData Centers, Observatoire de Strasbourg, France].

Foreground and background dust in star cluster directions
This paper compares reddening values E(B-V) derived from the stellarcontent of 103 old open clusters and 147 globular clusters of the MilkyWay with those derived from DIRBE/IRAS 100 mu m dust emission in thesame directions. Star clusters at |b|> 20deg showcomparable reddening values between the two methods, in agreement withthe fact that most of them are located beyond the disk dust layer. Forvery low galactic latitude lines of sight, differences occur in thesense that DIRBE/IRAS reddening values can be substantially larger,suggesting effects due to the depth distribution of the dust. Thedifferences appear to arise from dust in the background of the clustersconsistent with a dust layer where important extinction occurs up todistances from the Plane of ~ 300 pc. For 3 % of the sample asignificant background dust contribution might be explained by higherdust clouds. We find evidence that the Milky Way dust lane and higherdust clouds are similar to those of several edge-on spiral galaxiesrecently studied in detail by means of CCD imaging.

The intermediate age open cluster NGC 2660*
We present CCD UBVI photometry of the intermediate old open cluster NGC2660, covering from the red giant region to about seven magnitudes belowthe main sequence turn-off. Using the synthetic colour-magnitude diagrammethod, we estimate in a self-consistent way values for distance modulus[(m-M)0~=12.2], reddening [E(B-V)~=0.40], metallicity ([Fe/H]about solar) and age (τ<~1Gyr). A 30per cent population of binarystars turns out to be probably present.

Old Open Clusters: Constraints on Disk age and Evolution
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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:16h59m06.00s
Apparent magnitude:10

Catalogs and designations:
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NGC 2000.0NGC 6253

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