Chemical and kinematical properties of Blue Straggler stars in Galactic globular clusters

Lovisi, Loredana (2013) Chemical and kinematical properties of Blue Straggler stars in Galactic globular clusters , [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Astronomia, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5209.
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Blue straggler stars (BSSs) are brighter and bluer (hotter) than the main-sequence (MS) turnoff and they are known to be more massive than MS stars.Two main scenarios for their formation have been proposed:collision-induced stellar mergers (COL-BSSs),or mass-transfer in binary systems (MT-BSSs).Depleted surface abundances of C and O are expected for MT-BSSs,whereas no chemical anomalies are predicted for COL-BSSs.Both MT- and COL-BSSs should rotate fast, but braking mechanisms may intervene with efficiencies and time-scales not well known yet,thus preventing a clear prediction of the expected rotational velocities.Within this context,an extensive survey is ongoing by using the multi-object spectrograph FLAMES@VLT,with the aim to obtain abundance patterns and rotational velocities for representative samples of BSSs in several Galactic GCs.A sub-population of CO-depleted BSSs has been identified in 47 Tuc,with only one fast rotating star detected.For this PhD Thesis work I analyzed FLAMES spectra of more than 130 BSSs in four GCs:M4,NGC 6397,M30 and ω Centauri.This is the largest sample of BSSs spectroscopically investigated so far.Hints of CO depletion have been observed in only 4-5 cases (in M30 and ω Centauri),suggesting either that the majority of BSSs have a collisional origin,or that the CO-depletion is a transient phenomenon.Unfortunately,no conclusions in terms of formation mechanism could be drawn in a large number of cases,because of the effects of radiative levitation. Remarkably,however,this is the first time that evidence of radiative levitation is found in BSSs hotter than 8200 K.Finally, we also discovered the largest fractions of fast rotating BSSs ever observed in any GCs:40% in M4 and 30% in ω Centauri.While not solving the problem of BSS formation,these results provide invaluable information about the BSS physical properties,which is crucial to build realistic models of their evolution.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Lovisi, Loredana
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze matematiche, fisiche ed astronomiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
blue stragglers – globular clusters – stars: abundances – stars: evolution – techniques: spectroscopic
Data di discussione
25 Febbraio 2013

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