[GA] Constraining stellar population models – I. Age, metallicity, and abundance pattern compilation for Galactic globular clusters


We present an extenstive literature compilation of age, metallicity, and chemical abundance pattern information for the 41 Galactic globular clusters (GGCs) studied by Schiavon et al. (2005). Our compilation constitutes a notable improvement over previous similar work, particularly in terms of chemical abundances. Its primary purpose is to enable detailed evaluations of and refinements to stellar population synthesis models designed to recover the above information for unresolved stellar systems based on their integrated spectra. However, since the Schiavon sample spans a wide range of the known GGC parameter space, our compilation may also benefit investigations related to a variety of astrophysical endeavours, such as the early formation of the Milky Way, the chemical evolution of GGCs, and stellar evolution and nucleosynthesis. For instance, we confirm with our compiled data that the GGC system has a bimodal metallicity distribution and is uniformly enhanced in the alpha-elements. When paired with the ages of our clusters, we find evidence that supports a scenario whereby the Milky Way obtained its globular clusters through two channels, in situ formation and accretion of satellite galaxies. The distributions of C, N, O, and Na abundances and the dispersions thereof per cluster corroborate the known fact that all GGCs studied so far with respect to multiple stellar populations have been found to harbour them. Finally, using data on individual stars, we also confirm that the atmospheres of stars become progressively polluted by CN(O)-processed material after they leave the main sequence and uncover evidence which suggests the alpha-elements Mg and Ca may originate from more than one nucleosynthetic production site. [abridged]

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Date added: Tue, 15 Oct 13