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The Infrared Ca II Triplet as Metallicity Indicator
From observations of almost 500 red giant branch stars in 29 Galacticopen and globular clusters, we have investigated the behavior of theinfrared Ca II triplet (8498, 8542, and 8662 Å) in the age range13 Gyr<=age<=0.25 Gyr and the metallicity range-2.2<=[Fe/H]<=+0.47. These are the widest ranges of ages andmetallicities in which the behavior of the Ca II triplet lines has beeninvestigated in a homogeneous way. We report the first empirical studyof the variation of the Ca II triplet lines' strength, for givenmetallicities, with respect to luminosity. We find that the sequencedefined by each cluster in the luminosity-ΣCa plane is not exactlylinear. However, when only stars in a small magnitude interval areobserved, the sequences can be considered as linear. We have studied theCa II triplet lines on three metallicity scales. While a linearcorrelation between the reduced equivalent width(W'V or W'I) and metallicityis found in the Carretta & Gratton and Kraft & Ivans scales, asecond-order term needs to be added when the Zinn & West scale isadopted. We investigate the role of age from the wide range of agescovered by our sample. We find that age has a weak influence on thefinal relationship. Finally, the relationship derived here is used toestimate the metallicities of three poorly studied open clusters:Berkeley 39, Trumpler 5, and Collinder 110. For the latter, themetallicity derived here is the first spectroscopic estimate available.

Population Synthesis in the Blue. IV. Accurate Model Predictions for Lick Indices and UBV Colors in Single Stellar Populations
We present a new set of model predictions for 16 Lick absorption lineindices from Hδ through Fe5335 and UBV colors for single stellarpopulations with ages ranging between 1 and 15 Gyr, [Fe/H] ranging from-1.3 to +0.3, and variable abundance ratios. The models are based onaccurate stellar parameters for the Jones library stars and a new set offitting functions describing the behavior of line indices as a functionof effective temperature, surface gravity, and iron abundance. Theabundances of several key elements in the library stars have beenobtained from the literature in order to characterize the abundancepattern of the stellar library, thus allowing us to produce modelpredictions for any set of abundance ratios desired. We develop a methodto estimate mean ages and abundances of iron, carbon, nitrogen,magnesium, and calcium that explores the sensitivity of the variousindices modeled to those parameters. The models are compared to high-S/Ndata for Galactic clusters spanning the range of ages, metallicities,and abundance patterns of interest. Essentially all line indices arematched when the known cluster parameters are adopted as input.Comparing the models to high-quality data for galaxies in the nearbyuniverse, we reproduce previous results regarding the enhancement oflight elements and the spread in the mean luminosity-weighted ages ofearly-type galaxies. When the results from the analysis of blue and redindices are contrasted, we find good consistency in the [Fe/H] that isinferred from different Fe indices. Applying our method to estimate meanages and abundances from stacked SDSS spectra of early-type galaxiesbrighter than L*, we find mean luminosity-weighed ages of theorder of ~8 Gyr and iron abundances slightly below solar. Abundanceratios, [X/Fe], tend to be higher than solar and are positivelycorrelated with galaxy luminosity. Of all elements, nitrogen is the morestrongly correlated with galaxy luminosity, which seems to indicatesecondary nitrogen enrichment. If that interpretation is correct, thisresult may impose a lower limit of 50-200 Myr to the timescale of starformation in early-type galaxies. Unlike clusters, galaxies show asystematic effect whereby higher order, bluer, Balmer lines yieldyounger ages than Hβ. This age discrepancy is stronger for lowerluminosity galaxies. We examine four possible scenarios to explain thistrend. Contamination of the bluer indices by a metal-poor stellarpopulation with a blue horizontal branch cannot account for the data.Blue stragglers and abundance-ratio effects cannot be ruled out, as theycan potentially satisfy the data, even though this can only be achievedby resorting to extreme conditions, such as extremely high [O/Fe] orspecific blue-straggler frequencies. The most likely explanation is thepresence of small amounts of a young/intermediate-age stellar populationcomponent. We simulate this effect by producing two-component models andshow that they provide a reasonably good match to the data when the massfraction of the young component is typically a few percent. Ifconfirmed, this result implies star formation has been extended inearly-type galaxies, and more so in less massive galaxies, which seemsto lend support to the ``downsizing'' scenario. Moreover, it impliesthat stellar population synthesis models are capable of constraining notonly the mean ages of stellar populations in galaxies, but also theirage spread.

Near-infrared observations of the Fornax dwarf galaxy. I. The red giant branch
Aims.We present a study of the evolved stellar populations in the dwarfspheroidal galaxy Fornax based on wide-area near-infrared observations,aimed at obtaining new independent estimates of its distance andmetallicity distribution. Assessing the reliability of near-infraredmethods is most important in view of future space- and ground-based deepnear-infrared imaging of resolved stellar systems. Methods: We haveobtained JHK imaging photometry of the stellar populations in Fornax.The observations cover an 18.5×18.5 arcmin2 centralarea with a mosaic of SOFI images at the ESO NTT. Our data sample allthe red giant branch (RGB) for the whole area. Deeeper observationsreaching the red clump of helium-burning stars have also been obtainedfor a 4.5×4.5 arcmin2 region. Results: Near-infraredphotometry led to measurements of the distance to Fornax based on theK-band location of the RGB tip and the red clump. Once corrected for themean age of the stellar populations in the galaxy, the derived distancemodulus is (m-M)0 = 20.74±0.11, corresponding to adistance of 141 Kpc, in good agreement with estimates from optical data.We have obtained a photometric estimate of the mean metallicity of redgiant stars in Fornax from their (J-K) and (V-K) colors, using severalmethods. The effect of the age-metallicity degeneracy on the combinedoptical-infrared colors is shown to be less important than for opticalor infrared colors alone. By taking age effects into account, we havederived a distribution function of global metallicity [M/H] fromoptical-infrared colors of individual stars. Our photometric MetallicityDistribution Function covers the range -2.0 < [M/H] < -0.6, with amain peak at [M/H]≃ -0.9 and a long tail of metal-poor stars, andless metal-rich stars than derived by recent spectroscopy. Ifmetallicities from Ca II triplet lines are correct, this result confirmsa scenario of enhanced metal enrichment in the last 1-4 Gyr.Based on data collected at the European Southern Observatory, La Silla,Chile, Proposals No. 65.N-0167, 66.B-0247. Full Tables 2 and 3 are onlyavailable in electronic format at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/467/1025

Kinematic Decoupling of Globular Clusters with the Extended Horizontal Branch
About 25% of the Milky Way globular clusters (GCs) exhibit unusuallyextended color distribution of stars in the core helium-burninghorizontal-branch (HB) phase. This phenomenon is now best understood asdue to the presence of helium-enhanced second-generation subpopulations,which has raised the possibility that these peculiar GCs might have aunique origin. Here we show that these GCs with extended HB are clearlydistinct from other normal GCs in kinematics and mass. The GCs withextended HB are more massive than normal GCs and are dominated by randommotion with no correlation between kinematics and metallicity.Surprisingly, however, when they are excluded, most normal GCs in theinner halo show clear signs of dissipational collapse that apparentlyled to the formation of the disk. Normal GCs in the outer halo sharetheir kinematic properties with the extended HB GCs, which is consistentwith the accretion origin. Our result further suggests heterogeneousorigins of GCs, and we anticipate this to be a starting point for moredetailed investigations of Milky Way formation, including early mergers,collapse, and later accretion.

Formation and evolution of the Galactic bulge: constraints from stellar abundances
Aims.We compute the chemical evolution of the Galactic bulge in thecontext of an inside-out model for the formation of the Milky Way. Themodel contains updated stellar yields from massive stars. The mainpurpose of the paper is to compare the predictions of this model withnew observations of chemical abundance ratios and metallicitydistributions in order to put constraints on the formation and evolutionof the bulge. Methods: We computed the evolution of severalα-elements and Fe and performed several tests by varying differentparameters such as star formation efficiency, slope of the initial massfunction and infall timescale. We also tested the effect of adopting aprimary nitrogen contribution from massive stars. Results: The [α/Fe] abundance ratios in the Bulge are predicted to be supersolarfor a very large range in [Fe/H], each element having a different slope.These predictions are in very good agreement with most recent accurateabundance determinations. We also find a good fit of the most recentBulge stellar metallicity distributions. Conclusions: We conclude thatthe Bulge formed on a very short timescale (even though timescales muchshorter than ~0.1 Gyr are excluded) with a quite high star formationefficiency of ν ≃ 20 Gyr-1 and with an initial massfunction more skewed toward high masses (i.e. x ≤ 0.95) than thesolar neighbourhood and rest of the disk. The results obtained here aremore robust than previous ones since they are based on very accurateabundance measurements.

Near-Infrared Properties of 24 Globular Clusters in the Galactic Bulge
We present near-IR color-magnitude diagrams and physical parameters fora sample of 24 Galactic globular clusters toward the bulge. In thispaper we discuss the properties of 12 new clusters (out of the 24) inaddition to those previously studied and published by our group. Thecompilation includes measurements of the cluster reddening, distance,photometric metallicity, horizontal branch red clump, and red giantbranch morphological (e.g., mean ridgelines) and evolutionary (e.g.,bump and tip) features. The compilation is available in electronic formon the World Wide Web, and it will be updated regularly.Based on data taken at the ESO New Technology Telescope, within theobserving programs 73.D-0313, 75.D-0372, and 77.D-0757.

Oxygen, sodium, magnesium, and aluminium as tracers of the galactic bulge formation
Aims.This paper investigates the peculiar behaviour of the light even(alpha-elements) and odd atomic number elements in red giants in thegalactic bulge, both in terms of the chemical evolution of the bulge,and in terms of possible deep-mixing mechanisms in these evolved stars. Methods: Abundances of the four light elements O, Na, Mg, and Al aremeasured in 13 core He-burning giant stars (red clump stars) and 40 redgiant branch stars in four 25 arcmin fields spanning the bulge from -3to -12° galactic latitude. Special care was taken in the abundanceanalysis, performing a differential analysis with respect to themetal-rich solar-neighbourhood giant μLeo, which best resembles ourbulge sample stars. This approach minimises systematic effects that canarise in the analysis of cool metal-rich stars due to continuumdefinition issues and blending by molecular lines (CN) and, cancels outpossible model atmosphere deficiencies. Results: We show that theresulting abundance patterns point towards a chemical enrichmentdominated by massive stars at all metallicities. Oxygen, magnesium, andaluminium ratios with respect to iron are overabundant with respect toboth galactic disks (thin and thick) for [Fe/H] > -0.5. A formationtimescale for the galactic bulge shorter than for both the thin andthick disks is therefore inferred. To isolate the massive-starcontribution to the abundances of O, Mg, Al, and Na, we use Mg as aproxy for metallicity (instead of Fe), and further show that: (i) thebulge stars [O/Mg] ratio follows and extends the decreasing trend of[O/Mg] found in the galactic disks to higher metallicities. This is achallenge for predictions of O and Mg yields in massive stars, which sofar predicted no metallicity dependence in this ratio; (ii) the [Na/Mg]ratio trend with increasing [Mg/H] is found to increase in threedistinct sequences in the thin disk, the thick disk, and the bulge. Thebulge trend is well represented by the predicted metallicity-dependentyields of massive stars, whereas the galactic disks have Na/Mg ratiosthat are too high at low metallicities, pointing to an additional sourceof Na from AGB stars; (iii) contrary to the case of the [Na/Mg] ratio,there appears to be no systematic difference in the [Al/Mg] ratiobetween bulge and disk stars, and the theoretical yields by massivestars agree with the observed ratios, leaving no space for AGBcontribution to Al.Based on ESO-VLT observations 71.B-0617, 73.B-0074, and ParisObservatory GTO 71.B-0196. Full Tables 2 to 6 are only available inelectronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc-ustrasbg.fr( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/465/799 Tables 11 and 12are only available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org

Na-O anticorrelation and horizontal branches. VI. The chemical composition of the peculiar bulge globular cluster NGC 6388
We present the LTE abundance analysis of high resolution spectra for redgiant stars in the peculiar bulge globular cluster NGC 6388. Spectra ofseven members were taken using the UVES spectrograph at the ESO VLT2 andthe multiobject FLAMES facility. We exclude any intrinsic metallicityspread in this cluster: on average, [Fe/H]=-0.44±0.01±0.03dex on the scale of the present series of papers, where the first errorbar refers to individual star-to-star errors and the second issystematic, relative to the cluster. Elements involved in H-burning athigh temperatures show large spreads, exceeding the estimated errors inthe analysis. In particular, the pairs Na and O, Al and Mg areanticorrelated and Na and Al are correlated among the giants in NGC6388, the typical pattern observed in all galactic globular clustersstudied so far. Stars in NGC 6388 shows an excess of α-processelements, similar to the one found in the twin bulge cluster NGC 6441.Mn is found underabundant in NGC 6388, in agreement with the averageabundance ratio shown by clusters of any metallicity. Abundances ofneutron-capture elements are homogeneously distributed within NGC 6388;the [Eu/Fe] ratio stands above the value found in field stars of similarmetallicity.Based on observations collected at ESO telescopes under programme073.D-0211. Full Table 3 is only available in electronic form at the CDSvia anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/464/967

The Orbits of 48 Globular Clusters in a Milky Way-like Barred Galaxy
The effect of a barred potential (such as the one of the Milky Way) onthe Galactic orbits of 48 globular clusters for which absolute propermotions are known is studied. The orbital characteristics are comparedwith those obtained for the case of an axisymmetric Galactic potential.Tidal radii are computed and discussed for both the better knownaxisymmetric case and that including a bar. The destruction rates due tobulge and disk shocking are calculated and compared in both Galacticpotentials.

VLT-UVES abundance analysis of four giants in NGC 6553
Context: .Metal-rich globular clusters trace the formation of bulges.Abundance ratios in the metal-rich globular clusters such as NGC 6553can constrain the formation timescale of the Galactic bulge. Aims: .The purpose of this study is to determine the metallicity andelemental ratios in individual stars of the metal-rich bulge globularcluster NGC 6553. Methods: .A detailed abundance analysis of fourgiants in NGC 6553 is carried out, based on optical high-resolutionéchelle spectra obtained with UVES at the ESO VLT-UT2 Kueyentelescope. Results: .A metallicity [Fe/H] = -0.20 dex is derived,together with α-element enhancement of Mg and Si ([Mg/Fe] = +0.28,[Si/Fe] = +0.21), solar Ca and Ti ([Ca/Fe] = +0.05, [Ti/Fe] = -0.01),and a mild enhancement of the r-process element Eu with [Eu/Fe] = +0.10.A mean heliocentric radial velocity of -1.86 km s-1 ismeasured. We compare our results with previous investigations of thecluster.

The Detailed Star Formation History in the Spheroid, Outer Disk, and Tidal Stream of the Andromeda Galaxy
Using HST ACS, we have obtained deep optical images reaching stars wellbelow the oldest main-sequence turnoff in the spheroid, tidal stream,and outer disk of Andromeda. We have reconstructed the star formationhistory in these fields by comparing their color-magnitude diagrams to agrid of isochrones calibrated to Galactic globular clusters observed inthe same bands. Each field exhibits an extended star formation history,with many stars younger than 10 Gyr but few younger than 4 Gyr.Considered together, the star counts, kinematics, and populationcharacteristics of the spheroid argue against some explanations for itsintermediate-age, metal-rich population, such as a significantcontribution from stars residing in the disk or a chance intersectionwith the stream's orbit. Instead, it is likely that this population isintrinsic to the inner spheroid, whose highly disturbed structure isclearly distinct from the pressure-supported metal-poor halo thatdominates farther from the galaxy's center. The stream and spheroidpopulations are similar, but not identical, with the stream's mean agebeing ~1 Gyr younger; this similarity suggests that the inner spheroidis largely polluted by material stripped from either the stream'sprogenitor or similar objects. The disk population is considerablyyounger and more metal-rich than the stream and spheroid populations,but not as young as the thin-disk population of the solar neighborhood;instead, the outer disk of Andromeda is dominated by stars of age 4-8Gyr, resembling the Milky Way's thick disk. The disk data areinconsistent with a population dominated by ages older than 10 Gyr andin fact do not require any stars older than 10 Gyr.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated byAURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations areassociated with proposals 9453 and 10265. Some of the data presentedherein were obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operated asa scientific partnership among the California Institute of Technology,the University of California, and NASA. The Observatory was madepossible by the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

An Empirical Tool to Derive Metallicity, Reddening, and Distance for Old Stellar Populations from Near-Infrared Color-Magnitude Diagrams
We present an empirical method to derive photometric metallicity,reddening, and distance to old stellar populations by using a few majorfeatures of the red giant branch (RGB) in near-IR color-magnitudediagrams. We combine the observed RGB features with a set of equationslinking the global metallicity [M/H] to suitable RGB parameters (colors,magnitudes, and slope), as calibrated from a homogeneous sample ofGalactic globular clusters with different metallicities. This techniquecan be applied to efficiently derive the main population parameters ofold stellar systems, with the goal of using ground-based adaptive opticsand space facilities to probe the stellar content of remote galaxies.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory(ESO), La Silla, Chile. Also based on observations made with the ItalianTelescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG), operated on the island La Palma bythe Fundacion Galileo Galilei of INAF (Istituto Nazionale diAstrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos ofthe Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.

Surface Brightness Profiles of Galactic Globular Clusters from Hubble Space Telescope Images
The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) allows us to study the central surfacebrightness profiles of globular clusters at unprecedented detail. Wehave mined the HST archives to obtain 38 WFPC2 images of Galacticglobular clusters with adequate exposure times and filters, which we useto measure their central structure. We outline a reliable method toobtain surface brightness profiles from integrated light that we test onan extensive set of simulated images. Most clusters have central surfacebrightness about 0.5 mag brighter than previous measurements made fromground-based data, with the largest differences around 2 mag. Includingthe uncertainties in the slope estimates, the surface brightness slopedistribution is consistent with half of the sample having flat cores andthe remaining half showing a gradual decline from 0 to -0.8[dlogΣ/dlogr)]. We deproject the surface brightness profiles in anonparametric way to obtain luminosity density profiles. Thedistribution of luminosity density logarithmic slopes shows similarfeatures, with half of the sample between -0.4 and -1.8. These resultsare in contrast to our theoretical bias that the central regions ofglobular clusters are either isothermal (i.e., flat central profiles) orvery steep (i.e., luminosity density slope approximately -1.6) forcore-collapse clusters. With only 50% of our sample having centralprofiles consistent with isothermal cores, King models appear torepresent most globular clusters in their cores poorly.

Na-O anticorrelation and HB. III. The abundances of NGC 6441 from FLAMES-UVES spectra
Aims.The aim of the present work is to determine accurate metallicitiesfor a group of red giant branch stars in the field of the bulge GlobularCluster NGC 6441. This is the third paper in a seriesresulting from a large project aimed at determining the extent of theNa-O anticorrelation among Globular Cluster stars and exploring itsrelationship with HB morphology. Methods: .We present an LTEabundance analysis of these objects, based on data gathered with theFLAMES fiber facility and the UVES spectrograph at VLT2. Results:.Five of the thirteen stars observed are members of the cluster. Theaverage Fe abundance for these five stars is [Fe/H] = -0.39±0.04± 0.05 dex, where the first error bar includes theuncertainties related to star-to-star random errors, and the second onethe systematic effects related to the various assumptions made in theanalysis. The overall abundance pattern is quite typical of GlobularClusters, with an excess of the α-elements and of Eu. There isevidence that the stars of NGC 6441 are enriched inNa and Al, while they have been depleted of O and Mg by H-burning athigh temperatures, analogous with extensive observations of otherGlobular Clusters: in particular, one star is clearly Na and Al-rich andO and Mg-poor. We also obtained quite high V abundances, but it ispossible that this is an artifact of the analysis, since similar high Vabundances are also derived for the field stars. These last are all moremetal-rich than NGC 6441 and probably belong to thebulge population.

Ground-based CCD astrometry with wide field imagers. I. Observations just a few years apart allow decontamination of field objects from members in two globular clusters
This paper is the first of a series of papers in which we will apply themethods we have developed for high-precision astrometry (and photometry)with the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) to the case of wide-fieldground-based images. In particular, we adapt the software originallydeveloped for WFPC2 to ground-based, wide field images from the WFI atthe ESO 2.2 m telescope. In this paper, we describe in details the newsoftware, we characterize the WFI geometric distortion, discuss theadopted local transformation approach for proper-motion measurements,and apply the new technique to two-epoch archive data of the two closestGalactic globular clusters: NGC 6121 (M 4) and NGC 6397. The results ofthis exercise are more than encouraging. We find that we can achieve aprecision of ~7 mas (in each coordinate) in a single exposure for awell-exposed star, which allows a very good cluster-field separation inboth M 4, and NGC 6397, with a temporal baseline of only 2.8, and 3.1years, respectively.

Rotational mixing in low-mass stars. II. Self-consistent models of Pop II RGB stars
Aims.In this paper we study the effects of rotation in low-mass,low-metallicity RGB stars. Methods: .We present the firstevolutionary models taking into account self-consistently the latestprescriptions for the transport of angular momentum by meridionalcirculation and shear turbulence in stellar interiors as well as theassociated mixing processes for chemicals computed from the ZAMS to theupper RGB. We discuss the uncertainties associated with the physicaldescription of the rotational mixing in detail and carefully study theireffects on the rotation profile, diffusion coefficients, structuralevolution, lifetimes, and chemical signatures at the stellar surface. Wefocus in particular on the various assumptions concerning the rotationlaw in the convective envelope, the initial rotation velocitydistribution, the presence of μ-gradients, and the treatment of thehorizontal and vertical turbulence. Results: .This explorationleads to two main conclusions. (1) After completion of the firstdredge-up, the degree of differential rotation (and hence mixing) ismaximised in the case of a differentially rotating convective envelope(i.e., jCE(r) = const.), as anticipated in previous studies.(2) Even with this assumption, and contrary to some previous claims, thepresent treatment for the evolution of the rotation profile andassociated meridional circulation and shear turbulence does not lead toenough mixing of chemicals to explain the abundance anomalies inlow-metallicity field and globular cluster RGB stars observed around thebump luminosity. Conclusions: .This study raises questions thatneed to be addressed in the near future. These include, for example, theinteraction between rotation and convection and the trigger ofadditional hydrodynamical instabilities.

Manganese Abundances in Cluster and Field Stars
We have derived Mn abundances for more than 200 stars in 19 globularclusters. In addition, Mn abundance determinations have been made for acomparable number of halo field and disk stars possessing an overlappingrange of metallicities and stellar parameters. Our primary data set wascomprised of high-resolution spectra previously acquired at theMcDonald, Lick, and Keck Observatories. To enlarge our data pool, weacquired globular and open cluster spectra from several otherinvestigators. Data were analyzed using synthetic spectra of the 6000Å Mn I triplet. Hyperfine structure parameters were included inthe synthetic spectra computations. Our analysis shows that for themetallicity range -0.7>[Fe/H]>-2.7, stars of 19 globular clustershave a mean relative abundance of <[Mn/Fe]>=-0.37+/-0.01(σ=0.10), a value in agreement with that of the field stars,<[Mn/Fe]>=-0.36+/-0.01 (σ=0.08). Despite the 2 orders ofmagnitude span in metallicity, the <[Mn/Fe]> ratio remainsconstant in both stellar populations. Our Mn abundance data indicatethat there is no appreciable variation in the relative nucleosyntheticcontribution from massive stars that undergo core-collapse supernovaeand thus no significant change of the associated initial mass functionin the specified metallicity range.

An Empirical Calibration of the Mixing-Length Parameter α
We present an empirical calibration of the mixing-length free parameterα based on a homogeneous infrared database of 28 Galactic globularclusters spanning a wide metallicity range (-2.15<[Fe/H]<-0.2).Empirical estimates of the red giant effective temperatures have beenobtained from infrared colors. Suitable relations linking thesetemperatures to the cluster metallicity have been obtained and comparedto theoretical predictions. An appropriate set of models for the Sun andPopulation II giants has been computed by using both the standard solarmetallicity (Z/X)solar=0.0275 and the most recently proposedvalue (Z/X)solar=0.0177. We find that when the standard solarmetallicity is adopted, a unique value of α=2.17 can be used toreproduce both the solar radius and the Population II red gianttemperature. Conversely, when the new solar metallicity is adopted, twodifferent values of α are required: α=1.86 to fit the solarradius and α~2.0 to fit the red giant temperatures. However, itmust be noted that regardless the adopted solar reference, theα-parameter does not show any significant dependence onmetallicity.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory(ESO), La Silla, Chile. Also based on observations made with the ItalianTelescopio Nazionale Galileo (TNG) operated on the island of La Palma bythe Fundacion Galileo Galilei of the INAF (Istituto Nazionale diAstrofisica) at the Spanish Observatorio del Roque de los Muchachos ofthe Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias.

Na-O anticorrelation and HB. I. The Na-O anticorrelation in NGC 2808
We derived the atmospheric parameters and elemental abundances of Fe, O,and Na for about 120 red giant stars in the Galactic globular clusterNGC 2808. Our results are based on the analysis of medium-highresolution (R=22 000{-}24 000) GIRAFFE spectra acquired with the FLAMESspectrograph at VLT-UT2 as a part of a project aimed at studying theNa-O anticorrelation as a function of physical parameters in globularclusters. We present the anticorrelation of Na and O abundances in NGC2808 here, and discuss the distribution function of stars along thisrelation. Besides a bulk of O-normal stars with the typical compositionof field halo stars, NGC 2808 seems to host two other groups of O-poorand super O-poor stars. In this regard, NGC 2808 is similar to M 13, thetemplate cluster for the Na-O anticorrelation. However, in contrast to M13, most stars in NGC 2808 are O-rich. This might be related to thehorizontal branch morphologies that are very different in these twoclusters. The average metallicity we found for NGC 2808 is [Fe/H]=-1.10(rms = 0.065 dex, from 123 stars). We also found some evidence of asmall intrinsic spread in metallicity, but more definitive conclusionsare hampered by the presence of a small differential reddening.

Globular cluster system and Milky Way properties revisited
Aims.Updated data of the 153 Galactic globular clusters are used toreaddress fundamental parameters of the Milky Way, such as the distanceof the Sun to the Galactic centre, the bulge and halo structuralparameters, and cluster destruction rates. Methods: .We build areduced sample that has been decontaminated of all the clusters youngerthan 10 Gyr and of those with retrograde orbits and/or evidence ofrelation to dwarf galaxies. The reduced sample contains 116 globularclusters that are tested for whether they were formed in the primordialcollapse. Results: .The 33 metal-rich globular clusters([Fe/H]≥-0.75) of the reduced sample basically extend to the Solarcircle and are distributed over a region with the projected axial-ratiostypical of an oblate spheroidal, Δ x:Δ y:Δz≈1.0:0.9:0.4. Those outside this region appear to be related toaccretion. The 81 metal-poor globular clusters span a nearly sphericalregion of axial-ratios ≈1.0:1.0:0.8 extending from the central partsto the outer halo, although several clusters in the external regionstill require detailed studies to unravel their origin as accretion orcollapse. A new estimate of the Sun's distance to the Galactic centre,based on the symmetries of the spatial distribution of 116 globularclusters, is provided with a considerably smaller uncertainty than inprevious determinations using globular clusters, R_O=7.2±0.3 kpc.The metal-rich and metal-poor radial-density distributions flatten forR_GC≤2 kpc and are represented well over the full Galactocentricdistance range both by a power-law with a core-like term andSérsic's law; at large distances they fall off as ˜R-3.9. Conclusions: .Both metallicity components appearto have a common origin that is different from that of the dark matterhalo. Structural similarities between the metal-rich and metal-poorradial distributions and the stellar halo are consistent with a scenariowhere part of the reduced sample was formed in the primordial collapseand part was accreted in an early period of merging. This applies to thebulge as well, suggesting an early merger affecting the central parts ofthe Galaxy. The present decontamination procedure is not sensitive toall accretions (especially prograde) during the first Gyr, since theobserved radial density profiles still preserve traces of the earliestmerger(s). We estimate that the present globular cluster populationcorresponds to ≤23±6% of the original one. The fact that thevolume-density radial distributions of the metal-rich and metal-poorglobular clusters of the reduced sample follow both a core-likepower-law, and Sérsic's law indicates that we are dealing withspheroidal subsystems at all scales.

Dwarf elliptical galaxies in Centaurus A group: stellar populations in AM 1339-445 and AM 1343-452
We study the red giant populations of two dE galaxies, AM 1339-445 andAM 1343-452, with the aim of investigating the number and luminosity ofany upper asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars present. The galaxies aremembers of the Centaurus A group (D ≈ 3.8 Mpc) and are classified asoutlying (R ≈ 350 kpc) satellites of Cen A. The analysis is based onnear-IR photometry for individual red giant stars, derived from imagesobtained with ISAAC on the VLT. The photometry, along with optical dataderived from WFPC2 images retrieved from the HST science archive, enableus to investigate the stellar populations of the dEs in the vicinity ofthe red giant branch (RGB) tip. In both systems we find stars above theRGB tip, which we interpret as intermediate-age upper-AGB stars. Thepresence of such stars is indicative of extended star formation in thesedEs similar to that seen in many, but not all, dEs in the Local Group.For AM 1339-445, the brightest of the upper-AGB stars haveMbol ≈-4.5 while those in AM 1343-452 have Mbol≈ -4.8 mag. These luminosities suggest ages of approximately 6.5± 1 and 4 ± 1 Gyr as estimates for the epoch of the lastepisode of significant star formation in these systems. In both casesthe number of upper-AGB stars suggests that ~15% of the total stellarpopulation is in the form of intermediate-age stars, considerably lessthan is the case for outlying dE satellites of the Milky Way such asFornax and Leo I.

RR Lyrae-based calibration of the Globular Cluster Luminosity Function
We test whether the peak absolute magnitude MV(TO) of theGlobular Cluster Luminosity Function (GCLF) can be used for reliableextragalactic distance determination. Starting with the luminosityfunction of the Galactic Globular Clusters listed in Harris catalogue,we determine MV(TO) either using current calibrations of theabsolute magnitude MV(RR) of RR Lyrae stars as a function ofthe cluster metal content [Fe/H] and adopting selected cluster samples.We show that the peak magnitude is slightly affected by the adoptedMV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation, with the exception of that based onthe revised Baade-Wesselink method, while it depends on the criteria toselect the cluster sample. Moreover, grouping the Galactic GlobularClusters by metallicity, we find that the metal-poor (MP) ([Fe/H]<-1.0, <[Fe/H]>~-1.6) sample shows peak magnitudes systematicallybrighter by about 0.36mag than those of the metal-rich (MR) ([Fe/H]>-1.0, (<[Fe/H]>~-0.6) one, in substantial agreement with thetheoretical metallicity effect suggested by synthetic Globular Clusterpopulations with constant age and mass function. Moving outside theMilky Way, we show that the peak magnitude of the MP clusters in M31appears to be consistent with that of Galactic clusters with similarmetallicity, once the same MV(RR)-[Fe/H] relation is used fordistance determination. As for the GCLFs in other external galaxies,using Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) measurements we giveevidence that the luminosity functions of the blue (MP) GlobularClusters peak at the same luminosity within ~0.2mag, whereas for the red(MR) samples the agreement is within ~0.5mag even accounting for thetheoretical metallicity correction expected for clusters with similarages and mass distributions. Then, using the SBF absolute magnitudesprovided by a Cepheid distance scale calibrated on a fiducial distanceto Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), we show that the MV(TO)value of the MP clusters in external galaxies is in excellent agreementwith the value of both Galactic and M31 ones, as inferred by an RR Lyraedistance scale referenced to the same LMC fiducial distance. Eventually,adopting μ0(LMC) = 18.50mag, we derive that the luminosityfunction of MP clusters in the Milky Way, M31, and external galaxiespeak at MV(TO) =-7.66 +/- 0.11, - 7.65 +/- 0.19 and -7.67 +/-0.23mag, respectively. This would suggest a value of -7.66 +/- 0.09mag(weighted mean), with any modification of the LMC distance modulusproducing a similar variation of the GCLF peak luminosity.

The Victoria-Regina Stellar Models: Evolutionary Tracks and Isochrones for a Wide Range in Mass and Metallicity that Allow for Empirically Constrained Amounts of Convective Core Overshooting
Seventy-two grids of stellar evolutionary tracks, along with the meansto generate isochrones and luminosity/color functions from them, arepresented in this investigation. Sixty of them extend (and encompass)the sets of models reported by VandenBerg et al. for 17 [Fe/H] valuesfrom -2.31 to -0.30 and α-element abundances corresponding to[α/Fe]=0.0, 0.3, and 0.6 (at each iron abundance) to the solarmetallicity and to sufficiently high masses (up to ~2.2Msolar) that isochrones may be computed for ages as low as 1Gyr. The remaining grids contain tracks for masses from 0.4 to 4.0Msolar and 12 [Fe/H] values between -0.60 and +0.49 (assumingsolar metal-to-hydrogen number abundance ratios): in this case,isochrones may be calculated down to ~0.2 Gyr. The extent of convectivecore overshooting has been modeled using a parameterized version of theRoxburgh criterion, in which the value of the free parameter at a givenmass and its dependence on mass have been determined from analyses ofbinary star data and the observed color-magnitude diagrams for severalopen clusters. Because the calculations reported herein satisfy manyempirical constraints, they should provide useful probes into theproperties of both simple and complex stellar populations.All of the model grids may be obtained from the Canadian Astronomy DataCenter(http://www.cadc-ccda.hia-iha.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/cvo/community/VictoriaReginaModels/).Included in this archive are (1) the interpolation software (FORTRAN 77)to produce isochrones, isochrone probability functions, luminosityfunctions, and color functions, along with instructions on how toimplement and use the software, (2) BVRI (VandenBerg & Clem 2003)and uvby (Clem et al. 2004) color-temperature relations, and (3)zero-age horizontal branch loci for all of the chemical compositionsconsidered.

Abundances of Baade's Window Giants from Keck HIRES Spectra. I. Stellar Parameters and [Fe/H] Values
We present the first results of a new abundance survey of the Milky Waybulge based on Keck HIRES spectra of 27 K giants in the Baade's Window(l=1deg, b=-4deg) field. The spectral data used inthis study are of much higher resolution and signal-to-noise ratio thanprevious optical studies of Galactic bulge stars. The [Fe/H] values ofour stars, which range between -1.29 and +0.51, were used to recalibratelarge low-resolution surveys of bulge stars. Our best value for the mean[Fe/H] of the bulge is -0.10+/-0.04. This mean value is similar to themean metallicity of the local disk and indicates that there cannot be astrong metallicity gradient inside the solar circle. The metallicitydistribution of stars confirms that the bulge does not suffer from theso-called G dwarf problem. This paper also details the new abundancetechniques necessary to analyze very metal-rich K giants, including anew Fe line list and regions of low blanketing for continuumidentification.Based on data obtained at the W. M. Keck Observatory, which is operatedas a scientific partnership among the California Institute ofTechnology, the University of California, and NASA and was made possibleby the generous financial support of the W. M. Keck Foundation.

Resolved Massive Star Clusters in the Milky Way and Its Satellites: Brightness Profiles and a Catalog of Fundamental Parameters
We present a database of structural and dynamical properties for 153spatially resolved star clusters in the Milky Way, the Large and SmallMagellanic Clouds, and the Fornax dwarf spheroidal. This databasecomplements and extends others in the literature, such as those ofHarris and Mackey & Gilmore. Our cluster sample comprises 50 ``youngmassive clusters'' in the LMC and SMC, and 103 old globular clustersbetween the four galaxies. The parameters we list include central andhalf-light-averaged surface brightnesses and mass densities; core andeffective radii; central potentials, concentration parameters, and tidalradii; predicted central velocity dispersions and escape velocities;total luminosities, masses, and binding energies; central phase-spacedensities; half-mass relaxation times; and ``κ-space'' parameters.We use publicly available population-synthesis models to computestellar-population properties (intrinsic B-V colors, reddenings, andV-band mass-to-light ratios) for the same 153 clusters plus another 63globulars in the Milky Way. We also take velocity-dispersionmeasurements from the literature for a subset of 57 (mostly old)clusters to derive dynamical mass-to-light ratios for them, showing thatthese compare very well to the population-synthesis predictions. Thecombined data set is intended to serve as the basis for futureinvestigations of structural correlations and the fundamental plane ofmassive star clusters, including especially comparisons between thesystemic properties of young and old clusters.The structural and dynamical parameters are derived from fitting threedifferent models-the modified isothermal sphere of King; an alternatemodified isothermal sphere based on the ad hoc stellar distributionfunction of Wilson; and asymptotic power-law models withconstant-density cores-to the surface-brightness profile of eachcluster. Surface-brightness data for the LMC, SMC, and Fornax clustersare based in large part on the work of Mackey & Gilmore, but includesignificant supplementary data culled from the literature and importantcorrections to Mackey & Gilmore's V-band magnitude scale. Theprofiles of Galactic globular clusters are taken from Trager et al. Weaddress the question of which model fits each cluster best, finding inthe majority of cases that the Wilson models-which are spatially moreextended than King models but still include a finite, ``tidal'' cutoffin density-fit clusters of any age, in any galaxy, as well as or betterthan King models. Untruncated, asymptotic power laws often fit about aswell as Wilson models but can be significantly worse. We argue that theextended halos known to characterize many Magellanic Cloud clusters maybe examples of the generic envelope structure of self-gravitating starclusters, not just transient features associated strictly with youngage.

A New Definition for the Ca4227 Feature: Is Calcium Really Underabundant in Early-Type Galaxies?
We have investigated the abundance of calcium in early-type galaxies bymeasuring the strength of the Ca I λ4227 absorption line in theirintegrated spectra. The database used is the large sample of early-typegalaxy integrated spectra in Caldwell and coworkers. We have measured Caabundances from the Ca I λ4227 feature both by using the LickCa4227 index and by defining a new index, Ca4227r, thatavoids the CN4216 molecular band in the continuum on the blueward sideof the line. With the new index definition we measure Ca abundances thatare systematically ~0.3 dex higher than with the Lick Ca4227 index. Theresult is that with the new index definition we obtain higher [Ca/Fe]abundances in early-type galaxies, which are more consistent with theirwell-known [Mg/Fe] overabundances. Hence, we suggest that Ca might beslightly enhanced, relative to Fe, in early-type galaxies.

Star formation histories in the Local Group [review article]
Deep color magnitude diagrams extending to the main sequence provide themost direct measure of the detailed star formation history in a stellarpopulation. With large investments of observing time, HST can obtainsuch data for populations out to 1 Mpc, but its field of view isextremely small in comparison to the size of Local Group galaxies. Thislimitation severely constrains our understanding of galaxy formation.For example, the largest galaxy in the Local Group, Andromeda, offers anideal laboratory for studying the formation of large spiral galaxies,but the galaxy shows substructure on a variety of scales, presumably dueto its violent merger history. Within its remaining lifetime, HST canonly sample a few sight-lines through this complex galaxy. In contrast,a wide field imager could provide a map of Andromeda’s halo, outerdisk, and tidal streams, revealing the spatially-dependent starformation history in each structure. The same data would enable manysecondary studies, such as the age variation in Andromeda’sglobular cluster system, gigantic samples of variable stars, andmicrolensing tracers of the galaxy’s dark matter distribution.

Near-infrared photometry and spectroscopy of NGC 6539 and UKS 1: two intermediate metallicity bulge globular clusters*
Using the `son of ISAAC' (Infrared Spectrometer And Array Camera) imagerat the European Southern Observatory New Technology Telescope and thenear-infrared spectrographs on Keck II, we have obtained J, K images andechelle spectra covering the range 1.5-1.8μm for the intermediatemetallicity bulge globular clusters NGC 6539 and UKS 1. We find[Fe/H]=-0.76 and -0.78, respectively, and an average α-enhancementof ~+0.44 and ~+0.31 dex, consistent with previous measurements ofmetal-rich bulge clusters, and favouring the scenario of rapid chemicalenrichment. We also measure very low 12C/13C ~ 4.5+/- 1 isotopic ratios in both clusters, suggesting that extra-mixingmechanisms due to cool bottom processing are at work during evolutionalong the red giant branch. Finally, we measure accurate radialvelocities of =+31 +/- 4 and=+57 +/- 6 km s-1 and velocitydispersions of ~8 and ~11 km s-1 for NGC 6539 and UKS 1,respectively,

A Comparison of Elemental Abundance Ratios in Globular Clusters, Field Stars, and Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxies
We have compiled a sample of globular clusters with high-quality stellarabundances from the literature to compare to the chemistries of stars inthe Galaxy and in dwarf spheroidal galaxies. Of the 45 globular clustersexamined, 29 also have kinematic information. Most of the globularclusters belong to the Galactic halo; however, a significant number havedisk kinematics or belong to the bulge. Focusing on the [α/Fe] andlight r-process element ratios, we find that most globular cluster starsmimic field stars of similar metallicities, and neither clearlyresembles the currently available stellar abundances in dwarf galaxies(including globular clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud). Theexceptions to these general elemental ratio comparisons are alreadyknown in the literature, e.g., ω Centauri, Palomar 12, and Terzan7 associated with the Sagittarius remnant and Ruprecht 106, which has ahigh radial velocity and low [α/Fe] ratio. A few other globularclusters show more marginal peculiarities. The most notable one is thehalo cluster M68, which has a high galactocentric rotational velocity, aslightly younger age, and a unique [Si/Ti] ratio. The [Si/Ti] ratiosdecrease with increasing [Fe/H] at intermediate metallicities, which isconsistent with very massive stars playing a larger role in the earlychemical evolution of the Galaxy. The chemical similarities betweenglobular clusters and field stars with [Fe/H]<=-1.0 suggests a sharedchemical history in a well-mixed early Galaxy. The differences in thepublished chemistries of stars in the dwarf spheroidal galaxies suggestthat neither the globular clusters, halo stars, nor thick disk stars hadtheir origins in small isolated systems like the present-day Milky Waydwarf satellites.

Stellar Cluster Fiducial Sequences with the Advanced Camera for Surveys
We present color-magnitude diagrams of five Galactic globular clustersand one Galactic open cluster spanning a wide range of metallicity(-2.1<~[Fe/H]<~+0.3), as observed in the F606W (broad V) and F814W(I) bands with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the Hubble SpaceTelescope. These clusters are part of two large ACS programs measuringthe star formation history in the Andromeda halo, tidal stream, andouter disk. In these programs, the clusters serve as empiricalisochrones and as calibrators for the transformation of theoreticalisochrones to the ACS bandpasses. To make these data more accessible tothe community, for each cluster we provide a ridgeline tracing the starson the main sequence, subgiant branch, and red giant branch, plus thelocus of stars on the horizontal branch. In addition, we provide thetransformation of the Victoria-Regina isochrones to the ACS bandpasses.Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope,obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI), which isoperated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy(AURA), Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555. These observations areassociated with proposals 9453 and 10265.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:18h04m49.61s
Apparent magnitude:9.5

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NGC 2000.0NGC 6528

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