HST/ACS colour-magnitude diagrams of M31 globular clusters.

S. Perina, L. Federici, M. Bellazzini, C. Cacciari, F. Fusi Pecci, S. Galleti

Aims. With the aim of increasing the sample of M31 clusters for which a colour-magnitude diagram is available, we searched the HST archive for ACS images containing objects included in the Revised Bologna Catalogue of M31 globular clusters.
Methods. Sixty-three such objects were found. We used the ACS images to confirm or revise their classification and were able to
obtain useful CMDs for 11 old globular clusters and 6 luminous young clusters. We obtained simultaneous estimates of the distance, reddening, and metallicity of old clusters by comparing their observed field-decontaminated CMDs with a grid of template clusters of the Milky Way. We estimated the age of the young clusters by fitting with theoretical isochrones.
Results. For the old clusters, we found metallicities in the range -0.4<=[Fe/H]<=-1.9. The individual estimates generally agree
with existing spectroscopic estimates. At least four of them display a clear blue horizontal branch, indicating ages > 10 Gyr.
All six candidate young clusters are found to have ages < 1 Gyr. The photometry of the clusters is made publicly available through a dedicated web page.
Conclusions. With the present work the total number of M31 GCs with reliable optical CMD increases from 35 to 44 for the old
clusters, and from 7 to 11 for the young ones. The old clusters show similar characteristics to those of the MW. We discuss the case of the cluster B407, with a metallicity [Fe/H]~=-0.6 and located at a large projected distance from the centre of M31 (Rp = 19.8 kpc) and from the major axis of the galaxy (Y= 11.3 kpc). Metal-rich globulars at large galactocentric distances are rare both in M31 and in the Milky Way. B407, in addition, has a velocity in stark contrast with the rotation pattern shared by the bulk of M31
clusters of similar metallicity. This, along with other empirical evidence, supports the hypothesis that the cluster (together with B403) is physically associated with a substructure in the halo of M31 that has been interpreted as the relic of a merging event.




B008-G60 B049-G112
B010-G62 B367-G292
B023-G78 B458-D049
B088-G150 B521-SK034A
B158-G213 M039
B220-G275 M050

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