Thursday, July 4, 2013

1307.1115 (C. Contreras Peña et al.)

The Globular Cluster NGC 6402 (M14). I. A New BV Color-Magnitude Diagram    [PDF]

C. Contreras Peña, M. Catelan, F. Grundahl, A. W. Stephens, H. A. Smith
We present BV photometry of the Galactic globular cluster NGC 6402 (M14), based on 65 V frames and 67 B frames, reaching two magnitudes below the turn-off level. This represents, to the best of our knowledge, the deepest color-magnitude diagram (CMD) of NGC 6402 available in the literature. Statistical decontamination of field stars as well as differential reddening corrections are performed in order to derive a precise ridgeline and derive physical parameters of the cluster therefrom. We discuss previous attempts to derive a reddening value for the cluster, and argue in favor of a value E(B-V) = 0.57 +/- 0.02, which is significantly higher than indicated by either the Burstein & Heiles or Schlegel et al. (corrected according to Bonifacio et al.) interstellar dust maps. Differential reddening across the face of the cluster, which we find to be present at the level of Delta E(B-V) ~ 0.17 mag, is taken into account in our analysis. We measure several metallicity indicators based on the position of the red giant branch (RGB) in the cluster CMD. These give a metallicity of [Fe/H] = -1.38 +/- 0.07 in the Zinn & West scale and [Fe/H] = -1.28 +/- 0.08 in the new Carretta et al. (UVES) scale. We also provide measurements of other important photometric parameters for this cluster, including the position of the RGB luminosity function "bump" and the horizontal branch (HB) morphology. We compare the NGC 6402 ridgeline with the one for NGC 5904 (M5) derived by Sandquist et al., and find evidence that NGC 6402 and M5 have approximately the same age, to within the uncertainties -- although the possibility that M14 may be slighlty older cannot be ruled out.
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