An updated survey of globular clusters in M 31. III. A spectroscopic metallicity scale for the Revised Bologna Catalog
Aims. We present a new homogeneous set of metallicity estimates based on Lick indices for the old globular clusters of the M 31 galaxy. The final aim is to add homogeneous spectroscopic metallicities to as many entries as possible of the Revised Bologna Catalog of M 31 clusters, by reporting Lick index measurements from any source (literature, new observations, etc.) on the same scale.
Methods: New empirical relations of [Fe/H] as a function of [MgFe] and Mg2 indices are based on the well-studied galactic globular clusters, complemented with theoretical model predictions for -0.2≤ [Fe/H]≤ +0.5. Lick indices for M 31 clusters from various literature sources (225 clusters) and from new observations by our team (71 clusters) have been transformed into the Trager et al. system, yielding new metallicity estimates for 245 globular clusters of M 31.
Results: Our values are in good agreement with recent estimates based on detailed spectral fitting and with those obtained from color magnitude diagrams of clusters imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope. The typical uncertainty on individual estimates is ≃±0.25 dex, as resulted from the comparison with metallicities derived from color magnitude diagrams of individual clusters.
Conclusions: The metallicity distribution of M 31 globular cluster is briefly discussed and compared with that of the Milky Way. Simple parametric statistical tests suggest that the distribution is probably not unimodal. The strong correlation between metallicity and kinematics found in previous studies is confirmed. The most metal-rich GCs tend to be packed into the center of the system and to cluster tightly around the galactic rotation curve defined by the HI disk, while the velocity dispersion about the curve increases with decreasing metallicity. However, also the clusters with [Fe/H]<-1.0 display a clear rotation pattern, at odds with their Milky Way counterparts.
Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Pub Date:
- December 2009
- galaxies: individual: M 31;
- galaxies: star clusters;
- Local Group;
- Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Nongalactic Astrophysics
- 25 pages with 17 figures and 2 Appendices - To appear on Astronomy &