Abundance Anomalies in Globular Clusters

  • G. S. Da Costa
Conference paper
Part of the International Astronomical Union / Union Astronomique Internationale book series (IAUS, volume 189)


The galactic globular clusters presumably formed rapidly as high density concentrations at the centres of extensive star forming regions and the natural expectation is that they will be chemically homogeneous. In general, this is confirmed by observation — most globular clusters are extremely homogeneous with regard to most elements. (There are two exceptions: ω Cen and М22 both have intrinsic internal abundance ranges. While of considerable interest, e.g. Norris et al. 1996, this type of “abundance anomaly” will not be discussed here). But we have known for more than twenty years1 that the surface abundances, which are what we observe, of elements such as C, N and O can vary substantially from red giant to red giant within an individual globular cluster. Indeed it has become clear that “abundance anomalies” of this type are common in the galactic globular cluster population. Briefly, the observed anomalies can be summarized as: (i) the “anomalous” stars are depleted in C and enhanced in N. Depletions of O also often accompany the depletions in C. (ii) The C, N and O variations are usually accompanied by enhancements of Na and Al and when the O depletion and the Al enhancement are both large, Mg is depleted. No other elements, including r- and s-process indicators, vary.


Globular Cluster Asymptotic Giant Branch Abundance Difference Galactic Globular Cluster Abundance Anomaly 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arnould, M., Mowlavi, N., & Champagne, A. 1995, in Stellar Evolution: What Should Be Done, edited by A. Noels et al. (Univ. Liège, Liège), p. 17Google Scholar
  2. Briley, M.M., Bell, R.A., Hoban, S., & Dickens, R.J. 1990, ApJ, 359, 307ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Briley, M.M., et al. 1994, AJ, 108, 2183ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Briley, M.M., et al. 1996, Nature, 383, 604ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, J.A., & Wallerstein, G. 1992, AJ, 104, 1818ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Brown, J.A., Wallerstein, G., & Oke, J.B. 1990, AJ, 100, 1561ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cavallo, R.M., Sweigart, A.V., & Bell, R.A. 1996, ApJ, 464, L79ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cottrell, P.L., & Da Costa, G.S. 1981, ApJ, 245, L79ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Denisenkov, P., & Denisenkova, S.N. 1990, Soy. Astron. Lett. 16, 275ADSGoogle Scholar
  10. Dickens, R.J., Croke, B.F.W., Cannon, R.D., & Bell, R.A. 1991, Nature, 351, 212ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Harding, G.A. 1962, Observatory, 82, 205ADSGoogle Scholar
  12. Hesser, J.E., Hartwick, F.D.A., & McClure, R.D. 1976, ApJ, 207, L113ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kraft, R.P., et al. 1995, AJ, 109, 2586ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kraft, R.P., et al. 1997, AJ, 113, 279 (K97)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Langer, G.E., et al. 1986, PASP, 98, 473ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Norris, J.E. & Da Costa, G.S. 1995a, ApJ, 441, L81ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Norris, J.E. & Da Costa, G.S. 1995b, ApJ, 447, 680ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Norris, J., & Freeman, K.C. 1979, ApJ, 230, L179ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Norris, J., & Freeman, K.C. 1982, ApJ, 254, 143ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Norris, J., Freeman, K.C., & Da Costa, G.S. 1984, ApJ, 277, 615ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Norris, J.E., Freeman, K.C., & Mighell, K.J. 1996, ApJ, 462, 241ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Norris, J., Freeman, K.C., Cottrell, P.L., & Da Costa, G.S. 1981, ApJ, 244, 205ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Osborn, W. 1971, Observatory, 91, 223ADSGoogle Scholar
  24. Paltoglou, G. 1989, PhD Thesis, Australian National UniversityGoogle Scholar
  25. Peterson, R.C. 1980, ApJ, 237, L87ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pilachowski, C.A., Sneden, C., Kraft, R.P., & Langer, G.E. 1996, AJ, 112, 545ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Popper, D.M. 1947, ApJ, 105, 204ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Shetrone, M.D. 1996a, AJ, 112, 1517 (S96a)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Shetrone, M.D. 1996b, AJ, 112, 2639ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Smith, G.H., & Norris, J.E. 1982, ApJ, 254, 594ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Smith, G.H., et al. 1996, AJ, 112, 1511ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Suntzeff, N.B., & Smith, V.V. 1991, ApJ, 381, 160ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vandenberg, D.A. & Smith, G.H. 1988, PASP, 100, 314ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. S. Da Costa
    • 1
  1. 1.Mt. Stromlo & Siding Spring ObservatoriesWeston Creek POAustralia

Personalised recommendations