Stellar Photometry of the Globular Cluster NGC 6229.I.Data Reduction and Morphology of the Brighter Part of the CMD
BV CCD photometry of the central (1.5arcmin x 2.0arcmin ) part of the mildly concentrated outer-halo globular cluster NGC 6229 is presented. The data reduction in such a crowded field was based on a wavelet transform analysis. Our larger dataset extends the previous results by Carney et al. (1991, AJ, 101, 1699) for the outer and less crowded fields of the cluster, and confirms that NGC 6229 has a peculiar color-magnitude diagram for its position in the Galaxy. In particular, NGC 6229's horizontal branch (HB) presents several interesting features, among which stand out: a well populated and very extended blue tail; a rather blue overall morphology, with (B-R)/(B+V+R) = 0.24+/- 0.02; a bimodal color distribution, resembling those found for NGC 1851 and NGC 2808; and gaps on the blue HB. NGC 6229 is the first bimodal-HB cluster to be identified in the Galactic outer halo. A low value of the R parameter is confirmed, suggestive of a low helium abundance or of the presence of a quite substantial population of extreme HB stars fainter than our photometric limit ( =~ 2.5 mag below the RR Lyrae level in V). Twelve new possible variable stars were found in the central part of the cluster. The morphology of the red giant branch (RGB) also seems to be peculiar. In particular, the RGB luminosity function ``bump" is not a prominent feature and has only been tentatively identified, on the basis of a comparison with a previously reported detection for M3 (NGC 5272). Finally, we compare the properties of NGC 6229 with those for other outer-halo globular clusters, and call attention to what appears to be a bimodal HB distribution for the outer-halo cluster population, where objects with very red or very blue HB types are much more frequently found than clusters with intermediate HB types.
The Astronomical Journal
- Pub Date:
- February 1997
- 31 pages, LaTeX, uses AASTeX v4.0, 11 postscript figures and 7 postscript tables pasted into text. To appear in The Astronomical Journal (Feb. 1997 issue)