High-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy of globular cluster and field stars toward the Galactic bulge

Dongwook Lim, Andreas J. Koch-Hansen, Sang Hyun Chun, Seungsoo Hong, Young Wook Lee

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Globular clusters (GCs) play an important role in the formation and evolution of the Milky Way. New candidates are continuously found, particularly in the high-extinction low-latitude regions of the bulge, although their existence and properties have yet to be verified. In order to investigate the new GC candidates, we performed high-resolution near-infrared spectroscopy of stars toward the Galactic bulge using the Immersion Grating Infrared Spectrometer (IGRINS) instrument at the Gemini-South telescope. We selected 15 and 10 target stars near Camargo 1103 and Camargo 1106, respectively, which have recently been reported as metal-poor GC candidates in the bulge. In contrast to the classical approaches used in optical spectroscopy, we determined stellar parameters from a combination of line-depth ratios and the equivalent width of a CO line. The stellar parameters of the stars follow the common trends of nearby APOGEE sample stars in a similar magnitude range. We also determined the abundances of Fe, Na, Mg, Al, Si, S, K, Ca, Ti, Cr, Ni, and Ce through spectrum synthesis. There is no clear evidence of a grouping in radial velocity metallicity space that would indicate the characterization of either object as metal-poor GCs. This result emphasizes the necessity of follow-up spectroscopy for new GC candidates toward the bulge, although we cannot completely rule out a low probability that we only observed nonmember stars. We also note discrepancies between the abundances of Al, Ca, and Ti when derived from the H- versus the K-band spectra. Although the cause of this discrepancy is not clear, the effects of atmosphere parameters or nonlocal thermodynamic equilibrium are discussed. Our approach and results demonstrate that IGRINS spectroscopy is a useful tool for studying the chemical properties of stars toward the Galactic bulge with a statistical uncertainty in [Fe/H] of ~0.03 dex, while the systematic error through uncertainties of atmospheric parameter determination, at ~0.14 dex, is slightly larger than in measurements from optical spectroscopy.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberA62
JournalAstronomy and Astrophysics
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the referee for a number of helpful suggestions. D.L. and A.J.K.H. gratefully acknowledge funding by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) – Project-ID 138713538 – SFB 881 (“The Milky Way System”), subprojects A03, A05, A11. S.H.C. acknowledges support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korea government (MSIT) (NRF-2021R1C1C2003511). Y.W.L. and S.H. acknowledge support from the National Research Foundation of Korea (2022R1A2C3002992, 2022R1A6A1A03053472). D.L. thanks Sree Oh for the consistent support. This work used the Immersion Grating Infrared Spectrometer (IGRINS) that was developed under a collaboration between the University of Texas at Austin and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute (KASI) with the financial support of the Mt. Cuba Astronomical Foundation, of the US National Science Foundation under grants AST-1229522 and AST-1702267, of the McDonald Observatory of the University of Texas at Austin, of the Korean GMT Project of KASI, and Gemini Observatory. This research made use of Astropy, ( http://www.astropy.org ) a community-developed core Python package for Astronomy (Astropy Collaboration 2013, 2018).

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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