Department of Physical Sciences
We use Cycle 21 Hubble Space Telescope (HST) observations and HST archival ACS Treasury observations of 30 Galactic globular clusters to characterize two distinct stellar populations. A sophisticated Bayesian technique is employed to simultaneously sample the joint posterior distribution of age, distance, and extinction for each cluster, as well as unique helium values for two populations within each cluster and the relative proportion of those populations. We find the helium differences among the two populations in the clusters fall in the range of ∼0.04 to 0.11. Because adequate models varying in carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen are not presently available, we view these spreads as upper limits and present them with statistical rather than observational uncertainties. Evidence supports previous studies suggesting an increase in helium content concurrent with increasing mass of the cluster and we also find that the proportion of the first population of stars increases with mass as well. Our results are examined in the context of proposed globular cluster formation scenarios. Additionally, we leverage our Bayesian technique to shed light on the inconsistencies between the theoretical models and the observed data.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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CC BY Royal Astronomical Society
Scholarly Commons Citation
Wagner-Kaiser, R., Stenning, D. C., Sarajedini, A., von Hippel, T., van Dyk, D. A., Robinson, E., & Jefferys, W. H. (2016). Bayesian Analysis of Two Stellar Populations in Galactic Globular Clusters – III. Analysis of 30 Clusters. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 463(4). https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stw2247