We present wide-field photometry of the Galactic globular cluster M22 in the B, V and I passbands for more than 186 000 stars. The study is complemented by the photometry in two narrow-band filters centred on Hα and the adjacent continuum, and by infrared J, H and K magnitudes derived from the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey for ~2000 stars. Profiting from this huge data base, we completely characterized the evolved stellar sequences of the cluster by determining a variety of photometric parameters, including new photometric estimates of the mean metallicity, reddening and distance to the cluster. In particular, from our multiwavelength analysis, we re-examined the long-standing metallicity spread problem in M22. According to our data set, we conclude that most of the observed width of the red giant branch must be due to differential reddening, which amounts to a maximum of ΔE(B-V) ~= 0.06, although the presence of a small metallicity spread cannot be completely ruled out. More specifically, the maximum metallicity spread allowed by our data is of the order of Δ[Fe/H]~= 0.1-0.2 dex, i.e. not much more than that allowed by the photometric errors. Finally, we identified most of the known variable stars and peculiar objects in our field of view. In particular, we have found additional evidence supporting previous optical identifications of the central star of the planetary nebula IRAS 18333-2357, which is associated with M22.
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
- Pub Date:
- April 2004
- planetary nebulae: individual: IRAS 18333-2357;
- globular clusters: individual: M22;
- 15 pages, 16 figures, accepted for publication in MNRAS