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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.

Hot Populations in M87 Globular Clusters
To explore the production of UV-bright stars in old, metal-richpopulations like those in elliptical galaxies, we have obtained HubbleSpace Telescope (HST) Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph far- andnear-UV photometry of globular clusters (GCs) in four fields in thegiant elliptical (gE) galaxy M87. To a limit of mFUV~25 wedetect a total of 66 GCs in common with the deep HST optical-band studyof Kundu et al. Despite strong overlap in V- and I-band properties, theM87 GCs have UV-optical properties that are distinct from clusters inthe Milky Way and in M31. M87 clusters, especially metal-poor ones,produce larger hot horizontal-branch populations than do Milky Wayanalogs. In color plots including the near-UV band, the M87 clustersappear to represent an extension of the Milky Way sequence. Cluster massis probably not a factor in these distinctions. The most metal-rich M87GCs in our sample are near solar metallicity and overlap the local Egalaxy sample in estimated Mg2 line indices. Nonetheless, theclusters produce much more UV light at a given Mg2, being upto 1 mag bluer than any gE galaxy in (FUV-V) color. The M87 GCs do notappear to represent a transition between Milky Way-type clusters and Egalaxies. The differences are in the correct sense if the clusters aresignificantly older than the E galaxies.Comparisons with Galactic open clusters indicate that the hot stars lieon the extreme horizontal branch, rather than being blue stragglers, andthat the extreme horizontal branch becomes well populated for ages>~5 Gyr. Existing model grids for clusters do not match theobservations well, due to poorly understood giant branch mass loss orperhaps high helium abundances. We find that 41 of our UV detectionshave no optical-band counterparts. Most appear to be UV-brightbackground galaxies seen through M87. Eleven near-UV variable sourcesdetected at only one epoch in the central field are probably classicalnovae. Two recurrent variable sources have no obvious explanation butcould be related to activity in the relativistic jet.

Multivariate analysis of globular cluster horizontal branch morphology: searching for the second parameter
Aims.The interpretation of globular cluster horizontal branch (HB)morphology is a classical problem that can significantly blur ourunderstanding of stellar populations. Methods: .We present a newmultivariate analysis connecting the effective temperature extent of theHB with other cluster parameters. The work is based on Hubble SpaceTelescope photometry of 54 Galactic globular clusters. Results: .The present study reveals the important role of the total mass of theglobular cluster on its HB morphology. More massive clusters tend tohave HBs more extended to higher temperatures. For a set of three inputvariables including the temperature extension of the HB, [Fe/H] and M_V,the first two eigenvectors account for 90% of the total samplevariance. Conclusions: . Possible effects of clusterself-pollution on HB morphology, stronger in more massive clusters,could explain the results derived here.

Age and Metallicity Estimation of Globular Clusters from Strömgren Photometry
We present a new technique for the determination of age and metallicityin composite stellar populations using Strömgren filters. Usingprincipal component (PC) analysis on multicolor models, we isolate therange of values necessary to uniquely determine age and metallicityeffects. The technique presented here can only be applied to old(τ>3 Gyr) stellar systems composed of simple stellar populations,such as globular clusters and elliptical galaxies. Calibration using newphotometry of 40 globular clusters with spectroscopic [Fe/H] values andmain-sequence-fitted ages links the PC values to the Strömgrencolors, for an accuracy of 0.2 dex in metallicity and 0.5 Gyr in age.

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On the origin of the radial mass density profile of the Galactic halo globular cluster system
We investigate what may be the origin of the presently observed spatialdistribution of the mass of the Galactic Old Halo globular clustersystem. We propose its radial mass density profile to be a relic of thedistribution of the cold baryonic material in the protogalaxy. Assumingthat this one arises from the profile of the whole protogalaxy minus thecontribution of the dark matter (and a small contribution of the hot gasby which the protoglobular clouds were bound), we show that the massdistributions around the Galactic centre of this cold gas and of the OldHalo agree satisfactorily. In order to demonstrate our hypothesis evenmore conclusively, we simulate the evolution with time, up to an age of15Gyr, of a putative globular cluster system whose initial massdistribution in the Galactic halo follows the profile of the coldprotogalactic gas. We show that beyond a galactocentric distance oforder 2-3kpc, the initial shape of such a mass density profile ispreserved despite the complete destruction of some globular clusters andthe partial evaporation of some others. This result is almostindependent of the choice of the initial mass function for the globularclusters, which is still ill determined. The shape of these evolvedcluster system mass density profiles also agrees with the presentlyobserved profile of the Old Halo globular cluster system, thusstrengthening our hypothesis. Our result might suggest that theflattening shown by the Old Halo mass density profile at short distancesfrom the Galactic centre is, at least partly, of primordial origin.

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.

The Murmur of the Sleeping Black Hole: Detection of Nuclear Ultraviolet Variability in LINER Galaxies
LINER nuclei, which are present in many nearby galactic bulges, may bethe manifestation of low-rate or low-radiative-efficiency accretion ontosupermassive central black holes. However, it has been unclear whetherthe compact UV nuclear sources present in many LINERs are clusters ofmassive stars, rather than being directly related to the accretionprocess. We have used the Hubble Space Telescope to monitor the UVvariability of a sample of 17 galaxies with LINER nuclei and compactnuclear UV sources. Fifteen of the 17 galaxies were observed more thanonce, with two to five epochs per galaxy, spanning up to a year. Wedetect significant variability in most of the sample, with peak-to-peakamplitudes from a few percent to 50%. In most cases, correlatedvariations are seen in two independent bands (F250W and F330W).Comparison to previous UV measurements indicates, for many objects,long-term variations by factors of a few over decade timescales.Variability is detected in LINERs with and without detected compactradio cores, in LINERs that have broad Hα wings detected in theiroptical spectra (``LINER 1s''), and in those that do not (``LINER 2s'').This variability demonstrates the existence of a nonstellar component inthe UV continuum of all types and sets a lower limit to the luminosityof this component. Interestingly, all the LINERs that have detectedradio cores have variable UV nuclei, as one would expect from bona fideactive galactic nuclei. We note a trend in the UV color (F250W/F330W)with spectral type-LINER 1s tend to be bluer than LINER 2s. This trendmay indicate a link between the shape of the nonstellar continuum andthe presence or the visibility of a broad-line region. In one target,the poststarburst galaxy NGC 4736, we detect variability in a previouslynoted UV source that is offset by 2.5" (~60 pc in projection) from thenucleus. This may be the nearest example of a binary active nucleus andof the process leading to black hole merging.Based on observations with the Hubble Space Telescope, which is operatedby AURA, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

The Century Survey Galactic Halo Project. II. Global Properties and the Luminosity Function of Field Blue Horizontal Branch Stars
We discuss a 175 deg2 spectroscopic survey for bluehorizontal branch (BHB) stars in the Galactic halo. We use the TwoMicron All Sky Survey (2MASS) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) toselect BHB candidates, and we find that the 2MASS and SDSS colorselection is 38% and 50% efficient, respectively, for BHB stars. Oursamples include one likely runaway B7 star 6 kpc below the Galacticplane. The global properties of the BHB samples are consistent withmembership in the halo population: the median metallicity is[Fe/H]=-1.7, the velocity dispersion is 108 km s-1, and themean Galactic rotation of the BHB stars 3 kpc<|z|<15 kpc is-4+/-30 km s-1. We discuss the theoretical basis of thePreston, Shectman, and Beers MV-color relation for BHB starsand conclude that the intrinsic shape of the BHB MV-colorrelation results from the physics of stars on the horizontal branch. Wecalculate the luminosity function for the field BHB star samples usingthe maximum likelihood method of Efstathiou and coworkers, which isunbiased by density variations. The field BHB luminosity functionexhibits a steep rise at bright luminosities, a peak between0.8

Galactic Globular Cluster Relative Ages
We present accurate relative ages for a sample of 55 Galactic globularclusters. The ages have been obtained by measuring the differencebetween the horizontal branch and the turnoff in two internallyphotometrically homogeneous databases. The mutual consistency of the twodata sets has been assessed by comparing the ages of 16 globularclusters in common between the two databases. We have also investigatedthe consistency of our relative age determination within the recentstellar model framework. All clusters with [Fe/H]<-1.7 are found tobe old and coeval, with the possible exception of two objects, which aremarginally younger. The age dispersion for the metal-poor clusters is0.6 Gyr (rms), consistent with a null age dispersion.Intermediate-metallicity clusters (-1.7<[Fe/H]<-0.8) are onaverage 1.5 Gyr younger than the metal-poor ones, with an age dispersionof 1.0 Gyr (rms) and a total age range of ~3 Gyr. About 15% of theintermediate-metallicity clusters are coeval with the oldest clusters.All the clusters with [Fe/H]>-0.8 are ~1 Gyr younger than the mostmetal-poor ones, with a relatively small age dispersion, although themetal-rich sample is still too small to allow firmer conclusions. Thereis no correlation of the cluster age with the galactocentric distance.We briefly discuss the implication of these observational results forthe formation history of the Galaxy.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by theAssociation of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASAcontract NAS 5-26555, and on observations made at the European SouthernObservatory, La Silla, Chile, and with the Isaac Newton GroupTelescopes.

Spectroscopic monitoring of the transition phase in nova V4745 Sgr
We present a spectroscopic monitoring of the transient novaV4745 Sagittarii (Nova Sgr 2003#1) covering ten months after its discovery. During thisperiod the light curve showed a well expressed transient phase in theform of six rebrightenings, and the presented dataset is one of the bestspectroscopic coverages of a classical nova during the transition phase.Low- and medium-resolution spectra revealed that the majority ofspectral lines switched back to strong P-Cyg profiles during themini-outbursts, similar to the spectra just after the major eruption. Weinterpret the observed phenomena as evidence for ``echo-outbursts''resulting in episodes of secondary mass-ejections and propose that thetransition phase in classical novae is driven by repetitiveinstabilities of the hydrogen shell burning on the surface of the whitedwarf. From the available light curve data we estimate the absolutemagnitude of the system of about -8.3m±0.5m. Allspectrophotometric evidence point toward a very low (E(B-V)<0.1m)interstellar reddening, leading to a rough distance estimate of V4745Sgr (9 kpc

Infrared Echelle Spectroscopy of Palomar 6 and M71
We present high-resolution infrared echelle spectroscopy for theglobular clusters Palomar 6 and M71. Our mean heliocentric radialvelocity of Pal 6 is +180.6+/-3.2 km s-1 and is 20 kms-1 lower than that found by Minniti in 1995. Contrary to theprevious metallicity estimates using low-resolution spectroscopy, ourresults show that Pal 6 has an intermediate metallicity, with[Fe/H]=-1.0+/-0.1, and is slightly more metal poor than M71. Reasonablechanges in the surface temperature or the microturbulent velocity of themodel atmospheres do not affect [Fe/H] at more than +/-0.2 dex. In spiteof its high metallicity, on the basis of the spectrum of a singlecluster member the [Si/Fe] and [Ti/Fe] ratios of Pal 6 appear to beenhanced by 0.4 and 0.5 dex, respectively, suggesting that the Galacticinner halo may have experienced a very rapid chemical enrichmenthistory.Based on observations made with the Infrared Telescope Facility, whichis operated by the University of Hawaii under contract to the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration.

The metal content of the bulge globular cluster NGC 6528
High resolution spectra of five stars in the bulge globular cluster NGC6528 were obtained at the 8m VLT UT2-Kueyen telescope with the UVESspectrograph. Out of the five stars, two of them showed evidence ofbinarity. The target stars belong to the horizontal and red giant branchstages, at 4000 < Tefflt; 4800 K. Multiband V, I, J, H,Ks photometry was used to derive initial effectivetemperatures and gravities. The main purpose of this study is thedetermination of metallicity and elemental ratios for this templatebulge cluster, as a basis for the fundamental calibration of metal-richpopulations. The present analysis provides a metallicity [Fe/H] =-0.1±0.2 and the α-elements O, Mg and Si, show [α/Fe]≈ +0.1, whereas Ca and Ti are around the solar value or below,resulting in an overall metallicity Z ≈ Zȯ.Observations collected both at the European Southern Observatory,Paranal and La Silla, Chile (ESO programme 65.L-0340) and with theNASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, operated by AURA Inc. under contract to NASA.Tables \ref{targets}, \ref{logobs}, \ref{tablines} and Fig. \ref{chart}are only available in electronic form at http://www.edpsciences.org

The initial helium abundance of the Galactic globular cluster system
In this paper we estimate the initial He content in about 30% of theGalactic globular clusters (GGCs) from new star counts we have performedon the recently published HST snapshot database of Colour MagnitudeDiagrams (Piotto et al. \cite{Piotto02}). More specifically, we use theso-called R-parameter and estimate the He content from a theoreticalcalibration based on a recently updated set of stellar evolution models.We performed an accurate statistical analysis in order to assess whetherGGCs show a statistically significant spread in their initial Heabundances, and whether there is a correlation with the clustermetallicity. As in previous works on the subject, we do not find anysignificant dependence of the He abundance on the cluster metallicity;this provides an important constraint for models of Galaxy formation andevolution. Apart from GGCs with the bluest Horizontal Branch morphology,the observed spread in the individual helium abundances is statisticallycompatible with the individual errors. This means that either there isno intrinsic abundance spread among the GGCs, or that this is masked bythe errors. In the latter case we have estimated a firm 1σ upperlimit of 0.019 to the possible intrinsic spread. In case of the GGCswith the bluest Horizontal Branch morphology we detect a significantspread towards higher abundances inconsistent with the individualerrors; this can be fully explained by additional effects not accountedfor in our theoretical calibrations, which do not affect the abundancesestimated for the clusters with redder Horizontal Branch morphology. Inthe hypothesis that the intrinsic dispersion on the individual Heabundances is zero, taking into account the errors on the individualR-parameter estimates, as well as the uncertainties on the clustermetallicity scale and theoretical calibration, we have determined aninitial He abundance mass fraction YGGC=0.250±0.006.This value is in perfect agreement with current estimates based onCosmic Microwave Background radiation analyses and cosmologicalnucleosynthesis computations.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA,Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555, and on observations retrieved withthe ESO ST-ECF Archive.

A Globular Cluster Metallicity Scale Based on the Abundance of Fe II
Assuming that in the atmospheres of low-mass, metal-poor red giantstars, one-dimensional models based on local thermodynamic equilibriumaccurately predict the abundance of iron from Fe II, we derive aglobular cluster metallicity scale based on the equivalent widths of FeII lines measured from high-resolution spectra of giants in 16 keyclusters lying in the abundance range-2.4<[Fe/H]II<-0.7. We base the scale largely on theanalysis of spectra of 149 giant stars in 11 clusters by the Lick-Texasgroup supplemented by high-resolution studies of giants in five otherclusters. We also derive ab initio the true distance moduli for certainkey clusters (M5, M3, M13, M92, and M15) as a means of setting stellarsurface gravities. Allowances are made for changes in the abundancescale if one employs (1) Kurucz models with and without convectiveovershooting to represent giant star atmospheres in place of MARCSmodels and (2) the Houdashelt et al. color-temperature scale in place ofthe Alonso et al. scale.We find that [Fe/H]II is correlated linearly withW', the reduced strength of the near-infrared Ca II tripletdefined by Rutledge et al., although the actual correlation coefficientsdepend on the atmospheric model employed. The correlations, limited tothe range -2.4<[Fe/H]II<-0.7, are as follows:1.[Fe/H]II=0.531W'-3.279(MARCS),2.[Fe/H]II=0.537W'-3.225 (Kurucz withconvective overshooting),3.[Fe/H]II=0.562W'-3.329 (Kurucz withoutconvective overshooting).We also discuss how to estimate [X/Fe] ratios. We suggest that C, N, andO, as well as elements appearing in the spectrum in the singly ionizedstate, e.g., Ti, Sc, Ba, La, and Eu, should be normalized to theabundance of Fe II. Other elements, which appear mostly in the neutralstate, but for which the dominant species is nevertheless the ionizedstate, are probably best normalized to Fe I, but uncertainties remain.

Globular Clusters as Candidates for Gravitational Lenses to Explain Quasar-Galaxy Associations
We argue that globular clusters (GCs) are good candidates forgravitational lenses in explaining quasar-galaxy associations. Thecatalog of associations (Bukhmastova 2001) compiled from the LEDAcatalog of galaxies (Paturel 1997) and from the catalog of quasars(Veron-Cetty and Veron 1998) is used. Based on the new catalog, we showthat one might expect an increased number of GCs around irregulargalaxies of types 9 and 10 from the hypothesis that distant compactsources are gravitationally lensed by GCs in the halos of foregroundgalaxies. The King model is used to determine the central surfacedensities of 135 GCs in the Milky Way. The distribution of GCs incentral surface density was found to be lognormal.

RR Lyrae variables in Galactic globular clusters. I. The observational scenario
In this paper we revisit observational data concerning RR Lyrae stars inGalactic globular clusters, presenting frequency histograms offundamentalized periods for the 32 clusters having more than 12pulsators with well recognized period and pulsation mode. One finds thatthe range of fundamentalized periods covered by the variables in a givencluster remains fairly constant in varying the cluster metallicity allover the metallicity range spanned by the cluster sample, with the onlytwo exceptions given by M 15 and NGC 6441. We conclude that the width intemperature of the RR Lyrae instability strip appears largelyindependent of the cluster metallicity. At the same time, it appearsthat the fundamentalized periods are not affected by the predictedvariation of pulsators luminosity with metal abundance, indicating theoccurrence of a correlated variation in the pulsator mass. We discussmean periods in a selected sample of statistically significant ``RRrich" clusters with no less than 10 RRab and 5 RRc variables. One findsa clear evidence for the well known Oosterhoff dichotomy in the meanperiod of ab-type variables, together with a similarlyclear evidence for a constancy of the mean fundamentalized period in passing from Oosterhoff type II to type I clusters. Onthis basis, the origin of the Oosterhoff dichotomy is discussed,presenting evidence against a strong dependence of the RR Lyraeluminosity on the metal content. On the contrary, i) the continuity ofthe mean fundamentalized period, ii) the period frequency histograms inthe two prototypes M 3 (type I) and M 15 (type II), iii) the relativeabundance of first overtone pulsators, and iv) the observed differencebetween mean fundamental and fundamentalized periods, all agree in suggesting the dominant occurrence of avariation in the pulsation mode in a middle region of the instabilitystrip (the ``OR" zone), where variables of Oosterhoff type I and type IIclusters are pulsating in the fundamental or first overtone mode,respectively.

The Red Giant Branch luminosity function bump
We present observational estimates of the magnitude difference betweenthe luminosity function red giant branch bump and the horizontal branch(Delta F555WbumpHB), and of star counts in thebump region (Rbump), for a sample of 54 Galactic globularclusters observed by the HST. The large sample of stars resolved in eachcluster, and the high photometric accuracy of the data allowed us todetect the bump also in a number of metal poor clusters. To reduce thephotometric uncertainties, empirical values are compared withtheoretical predictions obtained from a set of updated canonical stellarevolution models which have been transformed directly into the HSTflight system. We found an overall qualitative agreement between theoryand observations. Quantitative estimates of the confidence level arehampered by current uncertainties on the globular cluster metallicityscale, and by the strong dependence of DeltaF555WbumpHB on the cluster metallicity. In case ofthe Rbump parameter, which is only weakly affected by themetallicity, we find a very good quantitative agreement betweentheoretical canonical models and observations. For our full clustersample the average difference between predicted and observedRbump values is practically negligible, and ranges from-0.002 to -0.028, depending on the employed metallicity scale. Theobserved dispersion around these values is entirely consistent with theobservational errors on Rbump. As a comparison, the value ofRbump predicted by theory in case of spurious bump detectionsdue to Poisson noise in the stellar counts would be ~ 0.10 smaller thanthe observed ones. We have also tested the influence on the predictedDelta F555WbumpHB and Rbump values ofan He-enriched component in the cluster stellar population, as recentlysuggested by D'Antona et al. (\cite{d02}). We find that, underreasonable assumptions concerning the size of this He-enrichedpopulation and the degree of enrichment, the predicted DeltaF555WbumpHB and Rbump values are onlymarginally affected.Based on observations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtainedat the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA,Inc., under NASA contract NAS5-26555, and on observations retrieved withthe ESO ST-ECF Archive.

Urban Astronomy: Observing the Messier Objects from the City
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Global metallicity of globular cluster stars from colour-magnitude diagrams
We have developed an homogeneous evolutionary scenario for H- andHe-burning low-mass stars by computing updated stellar models for a widemetallicity and age range [0.0002<=Z<=0.004 and9<=t(Gyr)<=15, respectively] suitable to study globular clusters.This theoretical scenario allows us to provide self-consistentpredictions about the dependence of selected observational features ofthe colour-magnitude diagram, such as the brightness of the turn-off(TO), the zero-age horizontal branch (ZAHB) and the red giant branchbump (BUMP), on the cluster metallicity and age. Taking into accountthese predictions, we introduce a new observable based on the visualmagnitude difference between the TO and the ZAHB[ΔMV(TO-ZAHB)], and the TO and the BUMP[ΔMV(TO-BUMP)], given byA=ΔMV(TO-BUMP)-0.566ΔMV(TO-ZAHB). Weshow that the parameter A does not depend at all on the cluster age, butthat it does strongly depend on the cluster global metallicity. Thecalibration of the parameter A as a function of Z is then provided, asbased on our evolutionary models. We tested the reliability of thisresult by also considering stellar models computed by other authors,employing different input physics. Eventually, we present clear evidencethat the variation of ΔMV(TO-BUMP) withΔMV(TO-ZAHB) does supply a powerful probe of the globalmetal abundance, at least when homogeneous theoretical frameworks areadopted. Specifically, we show that the extensive set of models byVanden Berg et al. suggests a slightly different calibration of A versusZ calibration, which however provides global metallicities higher byonly 0.08+/-0.06dex with respect to the results from our computations.We provide an estimate of the global metallicity of 36 globular clustersin the Milky Way, based on our A-Z calibration, and a largeobservational data base of Galactic globular clusters. By consideringthe empirical [Fe/H] scales by both Zinn & West and Carretta &Gratton, we are able to provide an estimate of the α-elementenhancement for all clusters in our sample. We show that the trend of[α/Fe] with respect to the iron content significantly depends onthe adopted empirical [Fe/H] scale, with the Zinn & West onesuggesting α-element enhancements in fine agreement with currentspectroscopic measurements.

Radio Emission from Globular Clusters
Radio emission of globular clusters is studied by analyzing the VLAradio survey data of the NVSS and FIRST. We find that 13 clusters haveradio sources within their half-mass radii of clusters. Sources detectedpreviously in NGC 7078 and NGC 6440 are identified. Pulsars in NGC 6121,NGC 6440 and NGC 7078 cannot be detected because of the insufficientsurvey sensitivity and resolution. There may be a pulsar in the core ofTerzan 1. The nature of the extended radio source near the core of NGC6440 remains unclear. In the core of a globular cluster, there may bemany neutron stars or an intermediate mass black hole, but this cannotbe clarified with the current radio observations.

Does the mixing length parameter depend on metallicity?. Further tests of evolutionary sequences using homogeneous databases
This paper is a further step in the investigation of the morphology ofthe color-magnitude diagram of Galactic globular clusters, and thefine-tuning of theoretical models, made possible by the recentobservational efforts to build homogeneous photometric databases. Inparticular, we examine here the calibration of the morphologicalparameter WHB vs. metallicity, originally proposed by Brocatoet al. (\cite{brocatoEtal98}; B98), which essentially measures the colorposition of the red-giant branch. We show that the parameter can be usedto have a first-order estimate of the cluster metallicity, since thedispersion around the mean trend with [Fe/H] is compatible with themeasurement errors. The tight WHB-[Fe/H] relation is thenused to show that variations in helium content or age do not affect theparameter, whereas it is strongly influenced by the mixing-lengthparameter alpha (as expected). This fact allows us, for the first time,to state that there is no trend of alpha with the metal content of acluster. A thorough examination of the interrelated questions of thealpha -elements enhancement and the color-Tefftransformations, highlights that there is an urgent need for anindependent assessment of which of the two presently acceptedmetallicity scales is the true indicator of a cluster's iron content.Whatever scenario is adopted, it also appears that a deep revision ofthe V-I-temperature relations is needed.

HST color-magnitude diagrams of 74 galactic globular clusters in the HST F439W and F555W bands
We present the complete photometric database and the color-magnitudediagrams for 74 Galactic globular clusters observed with the HST/WFPC2camera in the F439W and F555W bands. A detailed discussion of thevarious reduction steps is also presented, and of the procedures totransform instrumental magnitudes into both the HST F439W and F555Wflight system and the standard Johnson ( B ) and ( V ) systems. We alsodescribe the artificial star experiments which have been performed toderive the star count completeness in all the relevant branches of thecolor magnitude diagram. The entire photometric database and thecompleteness function will be made available on the Web immediatelyafter the publication of the present paper. Based on observations withthe NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space TelescopeScience Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc., under NASA contractNAS5-26555, and on observations retrieved from the ESO ST-ECF Archive.

Homogeneous age dating of 55 Galactic globular clusters. Clues to the Galaxy formation mechanisms
We present homogeneous age determinations for a large sample of 55Galactic globular clusters, which constitute about 30% of the totalGalactic population. A study of their age distribution reveals that allclusters from the most metal poor ones up to intermediate metallicitiesare coeval, whereas at higher [Fe/H] an age spread exists, together withan age-metallicity relationship. At the same time, all clusters within acertain galactocentric distance appear coeval, whereas an age spread ispresent further away from the Galactic centre, without any correlationwith distance. The precise value of [Fe/H] and galactocentric distancefor the onset of the age spread and the slope of the age-metallicityrelationship are strongly affected by the as yet uncertain [Fe/H] scale.We discuss how differences in the adopted [Fe/H] scale and clustersample size may explain discrepant results about the clusters agedistribution reached by different authors. Taking advantage of the largenumber of objects included in our sample, we also tested the possibilitythat age is the global second parameter which determines the HorizontalBranch morphology, and found indications that age could explain theglobal behaviour of the second parameter effect.

Variable Stars in Galactic Globular Clusters
Based on a search of the literature up to 2001 May, the number of knownvariable stars in Galactic globular clusters is approximately 3000. Ofthese, more than 2200 have known periods and the majority (approximately1800) are of the RR Lyrae type. In addition to the RR Lyrae population,there are approximately 100 eclipsing binaries, 120 SX Phoenicisvariables, 60 Cepheids (including Population II Cepheids, anomalousCepheids and RV Tauri), and 120 SR/red variables. The mean period of thefundamental mode RR Lyrae variables is 0.585 days, for the overtonevariables it is 0.342 days (0.349 days for the first-overtone pulsatorsand 0.296 days for the second-overtone pulsators) and approximately 30%are overtone pulsators. These numbers indicate that about 65% of RRLyrae variables in Galactic globular clusters belong to Oosterhoff typeI systems. The mean period of the RR Lyrae variables in the Oosterhofftype I clusters seems to be correlated with metal abundance in the sensethat the periods are longer in the more metal poor clusters. Such acorrelation does not exist for the Oosterhoff type II clusters. Most ofthe Cepheids are in clusters with blue horizontal branches.

Ages and Metallicities of Fornax Dwarf Elliptical Galaxies
Narrowband photometry is presented on 27 dwarf ellipticals in the Fornaxcluster. Calibrated with Galactic globular cluster data andspectrophotometric population models, the colors indicated that dwarfellipticals have a mean [Fe/H] of -1.00+/-0.28 ranging from -1.6 to-0.4. The mean age of dwarf ellipticals, also determinedphotometrically, is estimated at 10+/-1 Gyr compared with 13 Gyr forbright Fornax ellipticals. Comparison of our metallicity color andMg2 indices demonstrates that the [Mg/Fe] ratio is lower indwarf ellipticals than their more massive cousins, which is consistentwith a longer duration of initial star formation to explain theiryounger ages. There is a increase in dwarf metallicity with distancefrom the Fornax cluster center, where core galaxies are on average 0.5dex more metal-poor than halo dwarfs. In addition, we find the halodwarfs are younger in mean age compared with core dwarfs. One possibleexplanation is that the intracluster medium ram pressure strips the gasfrom dwarf ellipticals, halting star formation (old age) and stoppingenrichment (low metallicity) as they enter the core.

Relative Ages of Galactic Globular Clusters: Clues to the Formation and Evolution of the Milky Way
Not Available

A catalogue of helium abundance indicators from globular cluster photometry
We present a survey of helium abundance indicators derived from acomprehensive study of globular cluster photometry in the literature.For each of the three indicators used, we conduct a thorough erroranalysis, and identify systematic errors in the computationalprocedures. For the population ratio RNHBNRGB, wefind that there is no evidence of a trend with metallicity, althoughthere appears to be real scatter in the values derived. Although thisindicator is the one best able to provide useful absolute heliumabundances, the mean value is Y~0.20, indicating the probable presenceof additional systematic error. For the magnitude difference from thehorizontal branch to the main sequence Δ and the RR Lyraemass-luminosity exponent A, it is only possible to determine relativehelium abundances reliably. This is due to continuing uncertainties inthe absolute metallicity scale for Δ, and uncertainty in the RRLyrae temperature scale for A. Both indicators imply that the heliumabundance is approximately constant as a function of [Fe/H]. Accordingto the A indicator, both Oosterhoff I and II group clusters haveconstant values independent of [Fe/H] and horizontal branch type. Inaddition, the two groups have slopes dlog/d[Fe/H]that are consistent with each other, but significantly smaller than theslope for the combined sample.

Globular Cluster Subsystems in the Galaxy
Data from the literature are used to construct a homogeneous catalog offundamental astrophysical parameters for 145 globular clusters of theMilky Way Galaxy. The catalog is used to analyze the relationshipsbetween chemical composition, horizontal-branch morphology, spatiallocation, orbital elements, age, and other physical parameters of theclusters. The overall globular-cluster population is divided by a gap inthe metallicity function at [Fe/H]=-1.0 into two discrete groups withwell-defined maxima at [Fe/H]=-1.60±0.03 and -0.60±0.04.The mean spatial-kinematic parameters and their dispersions changeabruptly when the metallicity crosses this boundary. Metal-poor clustersoccupy a more or less spherical region and are concentrated toward theGalactic center. Metal-rich clusters (the thick disk subsystem), whichare far fewer in number, are concentrated toward both the Galacticcenter and the Galactic plane. This subsystem rotates with an averagevelocity of V rot=165±28 km/s and has a very steep negativevertical metallicity gradient and a negligible radial gradient. It is,on average, the youngest group, and consists exclusively of clusterswith extremely red horizontal branches. The population ofspherical-subsystem clusters is also inhomogeneous and, in turn, breaksup into at least two groups according to horizontal-branch morphology.Clusters with extremely blue horizontal branches occupy a sphericalvolume of radius ˜9 kpc, have high rotational velocities (Vrot=77±33 km/s), have substantial and equal negative radial andvertical metallicity gradients, and are, on average, the oldest group(the old-halo subsystem). The vast majority of clusters withintermediate-type horizontal branches occupy a more or less sphericalvolume ≈18 kpc in radius, which is slightly flattened perpendicularto the Z direction and makes an angle of ≈30° to the X-axis. Onaverage, this population is somewhat younger than the old-halo clusters(the young-halo subsystem), and exhibits approximately the samemetallicity gradients as the old halo. As a result, since theirGalactocentric distance and distance from the Galactic plane are thesame, the young-halo clusters have metallicities that are, on average,Δ[Fe/H] ≈0.3 higher than those for old-halo clusters. Theyoung-halo subsystem, which apparently consists of objects captured bythe Galaxy at various times, contains many clusters with retrogradeorbits, so that its rotational velocity is low and has large errors, Vrot=-23±54 km/s. Typical parameters are derived for all thesubsystems, and the mean characteristics of their member globularclusters are determined. The thick disk has a different nature than boththe old and young halos. A scenario for Galactic evolution is proposedbased on the assumption that only the thick-disk and old-halo subsystemsare genetically associated with the Galaxy. The age distributions ofthese two subsystems do not overlap. It is argued that heavy-elementenrichment and the collapse of the proto-Galactic medium occurred mainlyin the period between the formation of the old-halo and thick-disksubsystems.

Detection and Photometry of Hot Horizontal Branch Stars in the Core of M32
We present the deepest near-UV image of M32 to date, which for the firsttime resolves hot horizontal branch (HB) stars in an elliptical galaxy.Given the near-solar metallicity of M32, much larger than that ofglobular clusters, the existence of an extended horizontal branch is astriking example of the second parameter effect, and, most importantly,provides direct evidence that hot HB stars and their progeny are themajor contributors to the UV upturn phenomenon observed in ellipticalgalaxies. Our image, obtained with the Space Telescope ImagingSpectrograph (STIS), detects approximately 8000 stars in a25''x25'' field, centered 7.7" from the galaxynucleus. These stars span a range of 21-28 mag in the STMAG system, andin the deepest parts of the image, our catalog is reasonably complete(>25%) to a magnitude of 27. The hot HB spans a magnitude range of25-27 mag at effective temperatures hotter than 8500 K. We interpretthis near-UV luminosity function with an extensive set of HB and post-HBevolutionary tracks. Although the UV-to-optical flux ratio in M32 isweak enough to be explained solely by the presence of post-asymptoticgiant branch (post-AGB) stars, our image conclusively demonstrates thatit arises from a small fraction (<~5%) of the population passingthrough the hot HB phase. The production of these hot HB stars does notappear to rely upon dynamical mechanisms-mechanisms that may play a rolein the HB morphology of globular clusters. The majority of thepopulation presumably evolves through the red HB and subsequent post-AGBphases; however, we see far fewer UV-bright stars than expected from thelifetimes of canonical hydrogen-burning low-mass post-AGB tracks. Thereare several possible explanations: (1) the transition from AGB toTeff>60,000 K could be much more rapid than previouslythought; (2) the vast majority of the post-AGB stars could be evolvingalong helium-burning tracks; (3) the post-AGB stars could be surroundedby circumstellar dust during the transition from the AGB toTeff>60,000 K. Based on observations with the NASA/ESAHubble Space Telescope obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, which is operated by the Association of Universities forResearch in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:18h43m12.00s
Apparent magnitude:8.1

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MessierM 70
NGC 2000.0NGC 6681

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