A high-resolution study of isotopic composition and chemical abundances of blue horizontal branch stars in the globular clusters NGC 6397 and NGC 6752

S. Hubrig, F. Castelli, G. De Silva, J. F. González, Y. Momany, M. Netopil, S. Moehler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Aims. Large abundance anomalies have been previously detected in Horizontal Branch B-type stars. It has been suggested that at Teff > 11 000 K the stellar atmospheres become susceptible to diffusion effects and thus develop surface abundances similar to those that appear in the main-sequence, chemically peculiar group of A and B-type stars. We present the first high-resolution study of isotopic anomalies and chemical abundances in six Horizontal Branch B-type stars in globular clusters NGC 6397 and NGC 6752 and compare them to those observed in HgMn stars.
Methods. We obtained high-resolution (up to R ~ 115 000) UVES spectra of a representative sample of six B-type stars (T183, T191, T193, B652, B2151, B2206) with sharp spectral lines (v sin i ≤ 10 km s-1). The stars T183 and B2151 were observed on two consecutive nights to examine potential spectrum variability. A detailed spectrum analysis was done relying on Kurucz ATLAS9 and ATLAS12 models. The spectra were analysed using the SYNTHE code to generate synthetic spectra.
Results. It is the first time an abundance analysis is performed for all elements for which spectral lines were detected in UVES spectra of Horizontal Branch B-type stars. Our study of these stars revealed no signs of He isotopic anomalies, which would produce a3He/4He ratio different from the solar one. The isotopic anomaly of Ca is detected in all six studied stars. The chemical abundance analysis reveals an overabundance over the solar values of P, Ti, Mn, Fe, and Y and an overabundance over the cluster metallicity of Mg, Ca, and Cr. This behaviour is very similar in all six stars of both clusters with a few exceptions: the Na abundance is larger by more than 1.4 dex than the cluster metallicity in B652, and by more than 0.8 dex greater than the cluster metallicity in B2206; the Co abundance is 1.0 dex over the solar abundance for T191, while Zr is overabundant over the solar abundance by 0.4 dex in B2206. No lines of Hg or other heavy elements were observed in the spectra. Weak emission lines of , similar to those frequently observed in HgMn stars have been discovered in one Horizontal Branch B-type star T191. Furthermore, we detected a radial velocity change of 0.9 km s-1 from one night to the next for T183 and 0.4 km s-1 for B2151. Further high-resolution observations are needed to examine whether both stars are spectroscopic binaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865-878
Number of pages14
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Galaxy: globular clusters: individual: NGC 6397, NGC 6752
  • stars: Population II
  • stars: atmospheres
  • stars: fundamental parameters
  • stars: abundances
  • stars: binaries: spectroscopic


Dive into the research topics of 'A high-resolution study of isotopic composition and chemical abundances of blue horizontal branch stars in the globular clusters NGC 6397 and NGC 6752'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this