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Gradients in giant branch morphology in the core of 47 TucanaeI describe an algorithm which uses the high spatial resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope to complement the high spatial-to-noise, approximately symmetric point response function, relatively large spatial coverage, and standard filters available from ground based images of crowded fields. Applying this technique to the central regions of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae, I find that the morphology of the giant branch in the core is significantly different from that in more distant regions (r approximately equals 5 to 10 core radii) of the cluster. In particular, there appear to be fewer bright giants in the core, along with an enhanced `asymptotic giant branch' (AGB) sequence. Depletion of giants has been observed in the cores of other dense clusters, and may be due to `stripping' of large stars by stellar encounters and/or mass transfer in binary systems. Central concentrations of true asymptotic giant branch stars are not expected to result from dynamical processes; possibly some of these stars may be evolved blue stragglers.
Document ID
19950036266
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
External Source(s)
Authors
Bailyn, Charles D. (Yale Univ. New Haven, CT, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
March 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Astronomical Journal
Volume: 107
Issue: 3
ISSN: 0004-6256
Subject Category
ASTROPHYSICS
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAS5-26555
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAGW-2469
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Other