We performed low-resolution spectroscopy of the red giant stars in the Galactic globular cluster (GC) NGC 5286, which is known to show intrinsic heavy element abundance variations. We found that the observed stars in this GC are clearly divided into three subpopulations by CN index (CN-weak, CN-intermediate, and CN-strong). The CN-strong stars are also enhanced in the calcium HK′ (7.4σ) and CH (5.1σ) indices, while the CN-intermediate stars show no significant difference in the strength of the HK′ index from the CN-weak stars. From the comparison with high-resolution spectroscopic data, we found that the CN- and HK′-strong stars are also enhanced in the abundances of Fe and s-process elements. It appears, therefore, that these stars are later-generation stars affected by some supernova enrichment in addition to the asymptotic giant branch ejecta. In addition, unlike normal GCs, sample stars in NGC 5286 show the CN-CH positive correlation, strengthening our previous suggestion that this positive correlation is only discovered in GCs with heavy element abundance variations, such as M22 and NGC 6273.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science