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Integrated-Light Two Micron All Sky Survey Infrared Photometry of Galactic Globular Clusters
We have mosaicked Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) images to derivesurface brightness profiles in J, H, and Ks for 104 Galacticglobular clusters. We fit these with King profiles and show that thecore radii are identical to within the errors for each of these IRcolors and are identical to the core radii at V in essentially allcases. We derive integrated-light colors V-J, V-H, V-Ks, J-H,and J-Ks for these globular clusters. Each color shows areasonably tight relation between the dereddened colors and metallicity.Fits to these are given for each color. The IR - IR colors have verysmall errors, due largely to the all-sky photometric calibration of the2MASS survey, while the V-IR colors have substantially largeruncertainties. We find fairly good agreement with measurements ofintegrated-light colors for a smaller sample of Galactic globularclusters by M. Aaronson, M. Malkan, and D. Kleinmann from 1977. Ourresults provide a calibration for the integrated light of distantsingle-burst old stellar populations from very low to solarmetallicities. A comparison of our dereddened measured colors withpredictions from several models of the integrated light of single-burstold populations shows good agreement in the low-metallicity domain forV-Ks colors but also shows an offset at a fixed [Fe/H] of~0.1 mag in J-Ks, which we ascribe to photometric systemtransformation issues. Some of the models fail to reproduce the behaviorof the integrated-light colors of the Galactic globular clusters nearsolar metallicity.

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.

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.

Nearby Spiral Globular Cluster Systems. I. Luminosity Functions
We compare the near-infrared (JHK) globular cluster luminosity functions(GCLFs) of the Milky Way, M31, and the Sculptor Group spiral galaxies.We obtained near-infrared photometry with the Persson's AuxiliaryNasmyth Infrared Camera on the Baade Telescope for 38 objects (mostlyglobular cluster candidates) in the Sculptor Group. We also havenear-infrared photometry from the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS)-6Xdatabase for 360 M31 globular cluster candidates and aperture photometryfor 96 Milky Way globular cluster candidates from the 2MASS All-Sky andSecond Incremental Release databases. The M31 6X GCLFs peak at absolutereddening-corrected magnitudes of MJ0=-9.18,MH0=-9.73, and MK0=-9.98.The mean brightness of the Milky Way objects is consistent with that ofM31 after accounting for incompleteness. The average Sculptor absolutemagnitudes (correcting for relative distance from the literature andforeground reddening) are MJ0=-9.18,MH0=-9.70, and MK0=-9.80.NGC 300 alone has absolute foreground-dereddened magnitudesMJ0=-8.87, MH0=-9.39, andMK0=-9.46 using the newest Gieren et al. distance.This implies either that the NGC 300 GCLF may be intrinsically fainterthan that of the larger galaxy M31 or that NGC 300 may be slightlyfarther away than previously thought. Straightforward application of ourM31 GCLF results as a calibrator gives NGC 300 distance moduli of26.68+/-0.14 using J, 26.71+/-0.14 using H, and 26.89+/-0.14 using K.Data for this project were obtained at the Baade 6.5 m telescope, LasCampanas Observatory, Chile.

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.

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.

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.

Ages and metallicities of star clusters: New calibrations and diagnostic diagrams from visible integrated spectra
We present homogeneous scales of ages and metallicities for starclusters from very young objects, through intermediate-age ones up tothe oldest known clusters. All the selected clusters have integratedspectra in the visible range, as well as reliable determinations oftheir ages and metallicities. From these spectra equivalent widths (EWs)of K Ca II, G band (CH) and Mg I metallic, and Hδ, Hγ andHβ Balmer lines have been measured homogeneously. The analysis ofthese EWs shows that the EW sums of the metallic and Balmer H lines,separately, are good indicators of cluster age for objects younger than10 Gyr, and that the former is also sensitive to cluster metallicity forages greater than 10 Gyr. We propose an iterative procedure forestimating cluster ages by employing two new diagnostic diagrams and agecalibrations based on the above EW sums. For clusters older than 10 Gyr,we also provide a calibration to derive their overall metal contents.

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.

The Impact of Space Experiments on our Knowledge of the Physics of the Universe
With the advent of space experiments it was demonstrated that cosmicsources emit energy practically across all the electromagnetic spectrumvia different physical processes. Several physical quantities givewitness to these processes which usually are not stationary; thosephysical observable quantities are then generally variable. Thereforesimultaneous multifrequency observations are strictly necessary in orderto understand the actual behaviour of cosmic sources. Space experimentshave opened practically all the electromagnetic windows on the Universe.A discussion of the most important results coming from multifrequencyphotonic astrophysics experiments will provide new inputs for theadvance of the knowledge of the physics, very often in its more extremeconditions. A multitude of high quality data across practically thewhole electromagnetic spectrum came at the scientific community'sdisposal a few years after the beginning of the Space Era. With thesedata we are attempting to explain the physics governing the Universeand, moreover, its origin, which has been and still is a matter of thegreatest curiosity for humanity. In this paper we will try to describethe last steps of the investigation born with the advent of spaceexperiments, to note upon the most important results and open problemsstill existing, and to comment upon the perspectives we can reasonablyexpect. Once the idea of this paper was well accepted by ourselves, wehad the problem of how to plan the exposition. Indeed, the exposition ofthe results can be made in different ways, following several points ofview, according to: - a division in diffuse and discrete sources; -different classes of cosmic sources; - different spectral ranges, whichimplies in turn a sub-classification in accordance with differenttechniques of observations; - different physical emission mechanisms ofelectromagnetic radiation; - different vehicles used for launching theexperiments (aircraft, balloons, rockets, satellites, observatories). Inorder to exhaustively present The Impact of Space Experiments on ourKnowledge of the Physics of the Universe it would then have beennecessary to write a kind of Encyclopaedia of the Astronomical SpaceResearch, which is not our desire. On the contrary, since our goal is toprovide an useful tool for the reader who has not specialized in spaceastrophysics and for the students, we decided to write this paper in theform of a review, the length of which can be still consideredreasonable, taking into account the complexity of the argumentsdiscussed. Because of the impossibility of realizing a complete pictureof the physics governing the Universe, we were obliged to select how toproceed, the subjects to be discussed the more or the less, or those tobe rejected. Because this work was born in the Ph.D. thesis of one of us(LSG) (Sabau-Graziati, 1990) we decided to follow the `astronomicaltradition' used there, namely: the spectral energy ranges. Although suchenergy ranges do not determine physical objects (even if in many casessuch ranges are used to define the sources as: radio, infrared, optical,ultraviolet, X-ray, γ-ray emitters), they do determine themethods of study, and from the technical point of view they define thetechnology employed in the relative experiments. However, since then wehave decided to avoid a deep description of the experiments, satellites,and observatories, simply to grant a preference to the physical results,rather than to technologies, however fundamental for obtaining thoseresults. The exposition, after an introduction (Section 1) and somecrucial results from space astronomy (Section 2), has been focussed intothree parts: the physics of the diffuse cosmic sources deduced fromspace experiments (Section 3), the physics of cosmic rays from ground-and space-based experiments (Section 4), and the physics of discretecosmic sources deduced from space experiments (Section 5). In this firstpart of the paper we have used the logic of describing the main resultsobtained in different energy ranges, which in turn characterize theexperiments on board space vehicles. Within each energy range we havediscussed the contributions to the knowledge of various kind of cosmicsources coming from different experiments. And this part is mainlyderived by the bulk of the introductory part of LSG's Ph.D. thesis. Inthe second part of the paper, starting from Section 6, we have preferredto discuss several classes of cosmic sources independently of the energyranges, mainly focussing the results from a multifrequency point ofview, making a preference for the knowledge of the physics governing thewhole class. This was decided also because of the multitude of new spaceexperiments launched in the last fifteen years, which would haverendered almost impossible a discussion of the results divided intoenergy ranges without weakening the construction of the entire puzzle.We do not pretend to cover every aspect of every subject consideredunder the heading of the physics of the universe. Instead a crosssection of essays on historical, modern, and philosophical topics areoffered and combined with personal views into tricks of the spaceastrophysics trade. The reader is, then, invited to accept this papereven though it obviously lacks completeness and the arguments discussedare certainly biased by a selection effect owed essentially to ourknowledge, and to it being of a reasonable length. Some parts of itcould seem, in certain sense, to belong to an older paper, in which the`news' is not reported. But this is owed to our own choice, just in fullaccord with the goals of the text: we want to present those resultswhich have, in our opinion, been really important, in the development ofthe science. These impacting results do not necessarily constitute thelast news. This text was formally closed just on the day of the launchof the INTEGRAL satellite: October 17, 2002. After that date onlyfinishing touches have been added.

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.

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.

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.

The Galactic Bulge
Data for Bulge field and globular clusters are described and discussedin the light of current theories of bulge formation.

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.

A census with ROSAT of low-luminosity X-ray sources in globular clusters
I analyze 101 observations from the ROSAT archive to search for X-raysources in or near 55 globular clusters. New sources are found in thecores of NGC 362 (a double source), NGC 6121 (marginally significant),NGC 6139, and NGC 6266; and outside the cores of NGC 6205, NGC 6352 andNGC 6388. More accurate positions are determined for the X-ray sourcesin some ten clusters. The improved position for the source in NGC 6341excludes the suggested ultraviolet counterpart. It is shown that one ofthe two sources reported near the core of NGC 6626 is spurious, as isthe detection of a pulsar period in the PSPC data of this cluster; thecentral source is resolved in three sources. One source reportedpreviously in NGC 6304 is demoted to an upper limit. For 20 clustercores better upper limits to the X-ray luminosity are obtained. From astatistical analysis I argue that several sources outside the clustercores may well belong to the clusters. All spectral energy distributionsobserved so far are relatively soft, with bremsstrahlung temperatures =~0.9 keV; there is evidence however that bremsstrahlung spectra do notcorrectly describe the spectra. The X-ray luminosity per unit mass forthe cluster as a whole does not depend on the concentration; theluminosity per unit mass for the core may increase with the clusterconcentration.

Star Counts across the Red Giant Branch Bump and Below
We present a new observable-Rbump-which is the ratio betweenthe star counts across the red giant branch (RGB) bump and fainter RGBstars to investigate the occurrence of a deep-mixing phenomenon duringthese evolutionary phases. The comparison between predicted andempirical Rbump-values, based on a large and homogeneous setof Hubble Space Telescope data, brings out that evolutionary lifetimespredicted by canonical RGB models do account for the bulk of Galacticglobular clusters included in our sample (29). This evidence suggeststhat bump and fainter RGB stars do not show the occurrence of deepmixing, which significantly changes their chemical stratification. A fewpossible exceptions to this general rule are briefly discussed. Based onobservations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at theSpace Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc.,under NASA contract NAS5-26555, and on observations retrieved from theESO ST-ECF archive.

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.

A Near-Infrared Photometric Survey of Metal-poor Inner Spheroid Globular Clusters and Nearby Bulge Fields
Images recorded through J, H, K, 2.2 μm continuum, and CO filtershave been obtained of a sample of metal-poor ([Fe/H]<=-1.3) globularclusters in the inner spheroid of the Galaxy. The shape and color of theupper giant branch on the (K, J-K) color-magnitude diagram (CMD),combined with the K brightness of the giant branch tip, are used toestimate the metallicity, reddening, and distance of each cluster. COindices are used to identify bulge stars, which will bias metallicityand distance estimates if not culled from the data. The distances andreddenings derived from these data are consistent with published values,although there are exceptions. The reddening-corrected distance modulusof the Galactic center, based on the Carney et al. horizontal-branch(HB) brightness calibration, is estimated to be 14.9+/-0.1. The meanupper giant branch CO index shows cluster-to-cluster scatter that (1) islarger than expected from the uncertainties in the photometriccalibration and (2) is consistent with a dispersion in CNO abundancescomparable to that measured among halo stars. The luminosity functions(LFs) of upper giant branch stars in the program clusters tend to besteeper than those in the halo clusters NGC 288, NGC 362, and NGC 7089.The majority of inner spheroid clusters fall along the integrated J-Kversus metallicity relation defined by halo clusters; however, many ofthe inner spheroid clusters do not follow the relation betweenintegrated CO index and metallicity measured for halo clusters, in thatthey have CO indices that are too small. Bulge fields were also observednear most clusters. The slope of the giant branch LF does not varysignificantly between most fields, although the LFs in Baade's windowand near NGC 6273 are significantly shallower than average.Metallicities estimated from the slope of the upper giant branch on the(K, J-K) CMDs of fields within 6° of the Galactic center areconsistent with previous studies. Finally, the data suggest that the HBcontent may not be uniform throughout the bulge, in the sense that alarger than average number of red HB stars may occur in fields closestto the Galactic center.

On the Helium Content of Galactic Globular Clusters via the R-Parameter
We estimate the empirical R-parameter in 26 Galactic globular clusterscovering a wide metallicity range, imaged by Wide Field Planetary Camera2 on board the Hubble Space Telescope. The improved spatial resolutionpermits a large fraction of evolved stars to be measured and permitsaccurate assessment of radial population gradients and completenesscorrections. In order to evaluate both the He abundance and theHe-to-metal enrichment ratio, we construct a large set of evolutionarymodels by adopting similar metallicities and different He contents. Wefind an absolute He abundance that is lower than that estimated fromspectroscopic measurements in H II regions and from primordialnucleosynthesis models. This discrepancy could be removed by adopting a12C(α,γ)16O nuclear cross sectionabout a factor of 2 smaller than the canonical value, although differentassumptions for mixing processes also can introduce systematic effects.The trend in the R-parameter toward solar metallicity is consistent withan upper limit to the He-to-metal enrichment ratio of the order of 2.5.Detailed calculations of central He burning times as a function of thehorizontal-branch (HB) morphology suggest that He lifetimes for hot HBstars are on average ~20% longer than for RR Lyrae and red HB stars.Therefore, the increase in the empirical R-values of metal-poor clusterscharacterized by blue HB morphologies is due to an increase in the HBlifetime and not due to an increase in the He abundance. Based onobservations with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at theSpace Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by AURA, Inc.,under NASA contract NAS 5-26555, and on observations retrieved from theESO ST-ECF archive.

Foreground and background dust in star cluster directions
This paper compares reddening values E(B-V) derived from the stellarcontent of 103 old open clusters and 147 globular clusters of the MilkyWay with those derived from DIRBE/IRAS 100 mu m dust emission in thesame directions. Star clusters at |b|> 20deg showcomparable reddening values between the two methods, in agreement withthe fact that most of them are located beyond the disk dust layer. Forvery low galactic latitude lines of sight, differences occur in thesense that DIRBE/IRAS reddening values can be substantially larger,suggesting effects due to the depth distribution of the dust. Thedifferences appear to arise from dust in the background of the clustersconsistent with a dust layer where important extinction occurs up todistances from the Plane of ~ 300 pc. For 3 % of the sample asignificant background dust contribution might be explained by higherdust clouds. We find evidence that the Milky Way dust lane and higherdust clouds are similar to those of several edge-on spiral galaxiesrecently studied in detail by means of CCD imaging.

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.

Blue horizontal branch globular clusters towards the bulge: Terzan 9, NGC 6139 and NGC 6453
We present V and I photometry of the globular clusters Terzan 9 and NGC6453 for the first time, and also of NGC 6139. The three clusters areprojected towards the bulge. The Colour-Magnitude Diagram morphologiesreveal that the sample clusters have blue horizontal branches. Thischaracterizes an important fraction of the clusters projected on thebulge, with implications on the early Galaxy history. From thecolour-magnitude diagrams we derive reddenings of E(B-V) = 1.95, 0.77,0.70 and distances dsun~ 4.9, 9.4, 8.5 kpc respectively forTerzan 9, NGC 6139 and NGC 6453. We conclude that these metal-poorclusters are within the bulge volume. Observations collected at theEuropean Southern Observatory - ESO, Chile, proposal No. 61.E-0335.

The metal-rich bulge globular cluster NGC 6401
We present V and I photometry for the bulge globular cluster NGC 6401for the first time. The Colour-Magnitude Diagram reveals a redhorizontal branch, and the cluster is metal-rich ([Fe/H] ~ -0.7). NGC6401 is located at 5.3(deg) from the Galactic center, turning out to bean interesting target to trace the extent of the bulge. A reddeningE(B-V) = 0.53+/-0.15 and a distance from the Sun dsun ~12.0+/-1.0 kpc are derived. The cluster is slightly behind the bulk ofthe bulge population in that direction, but still within the bulgevolume. Since the number of clusters with Horizontal Branch informationhas increased enormously in the later years for the central 20(deg)x20(deg), we present a discussion on the distribution of red and bluehorizontal branch clusters and their possible relation to bulge and/orhalo. Observations collected at the European Southern Observatory --ESO, Chile, proposal no. 61.E-0335

Comparison between Predicted and Empirical DeltaV^bump_HB in Galactic Globular Clusters
We present observational estimates of DeltaV^bump_HB in a sample of 28galactic globular clusters (GGCs) observed by the Hubble SpaceTelescope. The photometric accuracy and the sizable number of starsmeasured in each cluster allowed us to single out the red giant branchbump both in metal-poor and in metal-rich GGCs. Empirical values arecompared with homogeneous theoretical predictions that account for bothH- and He-burning phases over a wide range of metal abundances(0.0001

A Near-Infrared Photometric Study of the Metal-poor Inner Spheroid Globular Clusters NGC 6139 and NGC 6287
Moderately deep J, H, K, 2.2 μm continuum, and 2.3 μm CO imagesare used to investigate the photometric properties of stars in themetal-poor inner spheroid globular clusters NGC 6139 and NGC 6287. Thedata sample stars as faint as the subgiant branch (SGB) in NGC 6139 andthe main-sequence turnoff (MSTO) in NGC 6287. The photometric propertiesof bright giants are used to estimate the distance, metallicity, andreddening of each cluster. The brightness of the red giant branch tip,as calibrated from the Bergbusch & VandenBerg isochrones, suggeststhat mu_0 = 15.4 +/- 0.1 for NGC 6139 and mu_0 = 14.6 +/- 0.1 for NGC6287. The steep giant branches and weak 2.3 μm CO indices confirm theextreme metal-poor natures of these clusters and suggest that [Fe/H] =-2 for NGC 6139 and [Fe/H] = -2.2 for NGC 6287. Techniques to correctfor reddening variations and foreground star contamination are discussedand applied to the NGC 6287 data to construct a K luminosity function(LF) that is complete almost to the MSTO. Comparisons with LFs derivedfrom the Bergbusch & VandenBerg models suggest that the age of NGC6287 is 12 Gyr, although the number of SGB stars sampled in the existingstudy is too small to rule out an age as old as 16 Gyr. It is noted thatnear-infrared LFs may prove useful for establishing a relative age scalefor heavily obscured globular clusters.

The Horizontal Branches of Globular Clusters. II. The Color-Magnitude Diagram of NGC 6139
A color-magnitude diagram (CMD) has been constructed for the globularcluster NGC 6139 from V and I photometry. The broad sequences in thisCMD are caused by variable interstellar reddening, and a gradient inreddening across the field was measured and removed from the data. Fromthe color and shape of the giant branch, we obtain [Fe/H] = -1.71 +/-0.20 and a mean reddening of E(V-I) = 1.03 +/- 0.04 [E(B-V) = 0.76 +/-0.03]. At the blue edge of the instability strip, the mean V magnitudeof the horizontal branch is 17.9 +/- 0.1. These measurements agree withsome but not all previous ones. NGC 6139 has a very blue horizontalbranch (HB), (B-R)/(B+V+R) = 0.91 +/- 0.06, which appears to beunusually short in color extent compared with other clusters of its highcentral density and concentration, although additional observations areneeded to confirm this. NGC 6139 lies in the inner regions of theGalaxy, but outside the Galactic bulge. Its [Fe/H], HB morphology, andkinematics are typical of other inner halo globular clusters.

NTT CCD photometry of the globular cluster M 79 = NGC 1904 in UBV
We have obtained new CCD photometry (with short exposures) of the MilkyWay globular cluster M 79 using the NTT under excellent seeing. Themain-sequence turnoff point is at V=19.70+/-0.05, B-V=0.415+/-0.010; thehorizontal-branch level at the blue edge of the instability strip isV=16.25+/-0.10. The cluster metallicity, estimated from the positions ofthe ``bump'' on the red giant branch, is [Fe/H] =-1.76+/-0.20. Wediscuss the luminosity functions of the horizontal branch and theasymptotic giant branch, in particular, the fragmentary structure of thehorizontal branch in M 79 and in other clusters. Our isochrone analysisshows that M 79 belongs to the oldest Milky Way globular clusters. Itsage, in the scale of \cite[Bergbusch \& VandenBerg (1992)]{ber92}oxygen-enhanced isochrones, is 16+/-1 Gyr, and in the scale of\cite[VandenBerg \& Bell (1985)]{van85} isochrones it is 18+/-1 Gyr.The cluster has an extremely blue horizontal branch at intermediatemetallicity and may be considered a good example of the ``secondparameter'' interpreted as age. The apparent distance modulus of thecluster from Bergbusch and VandenBerg isochrones is in good agreementwith the value derived from the position of the horizontal branch(15.6"). Based on observations collected at the European SouthernObservatory. Table 2, with the results of our photometry, is completelyavailable in electronic form at the CDS via anonymous ftp tocdsarc.u-strasbg.fr ( or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/Abstract.html.

Destruction of the Galactic Globular Cluster System
We investigate the dynamical evolution of the Galactic globular clustersystem in considerably greater detail than has been done hitherto,finding that destruction rates are significantly larger than given byprevious estimates. The general scheme (but not the detailedimplementation) follows Aguilar, Hut, & Ostriker. For the evolutionof individual clusters, we use a Fokker-Planck code including the mostimportant physical processes governing the evolution: two-bodyrelaxation, tidal truncation of clusters, compressive gravitationalshocks while clusters pass through the Galactic disk, and tidal shocksdue to passage close to the bulge. Gravitational shocks are treatedcomprehensively, using a recent result by Kundic & Ostriker that the< Delta E2> shock-induced relaxation term, driving an additionaldispersion of energies, is generally more important than the usualenergy shift term < Delta E>. Various functional forms of thecorrection factor are adopted to allow for the adiabatic conservation ofstellar actions in a presence of transient gravitational perturbation.We use a recent compilation of the globular cluster positional andstructural parameters, and a collection of radial velocity measurements.Two transverse to the line-of-sight velocity components were assignedrandomly according to the two kinematic models for the cluster system(following the method of Aguilar, Hut, & Ostriker): one with anisotropic peculiar velocity distribution, corresponding to thepresent-day cluster population, and the other with the radiallypreferred peculiar velocities, similar to those of the stellar halo. Weuse the Ostriker & Caldwell and the Bahcall, Schmidt, & Soneiramodels for our Galaxy. For each cluster in our sample, we calculated itsorbits over a Hubble time, starting from the present observed positionsand assumed velocities. Medians of the resulting set of peri- andapogalactic distances and velocities are used then as an input for theFokker-Planck code. Evolution of the cluster is followed up to its totaldissolution due to a coherent action of all of the destructionmechanisms. The rate of destruction is then obtained as a median overall the cluster sample, in accord with Aguilar, Hut, & Ostriker. Wefind that the total destruction rate is much larger than that given byAguilar, Hut, & Ostriker with more than half of the present clusters(52%--58% for the Ostriker & Caldwell model, and 75%--86% for theBahcall, Schmidt, & Soneira model) destroyed in the next Hubbletime. Alternatively put, the typical time to destruction is comparableto the typical age, a result that would follow from (but is not requiredby) an initially power law distribution of destruction times. We discusssome implications for a past history of the globular cluster system andthe initial distribution of the destruction times, raising thepossibility that the current population is but a very small fraction ofthe initial population with the remnants of the destroyed clustersconstituting presently a large fraction of the spheroid (bulge + halo)stellar population.

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Observation and Astrometry data

Right ascension:16h27m40.43s
Apparent magnitude:9.2

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NGC 2000.0NGC 6139

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