The UV-route to Search for Blue Straggler Stars in Globular Clusters: First Results from the HST UV Legacy Survey

We used data from the Hubble Space Telescope UV Legacy Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters to select the Blue Straggler Star (BSS) population in four intermediate/high density systems (namely NGC 2808, NGC 6388, NGC 6541, and NGC 7078) through a "UV-guided search." This procedure consists of using the F275W images in each cluster to construct the master list of detected sources, and then force it to the images acquired in the other filters. Such an approach optimizes the detection of relatively hot stars and allows the detection of a complete sample of BSSs even in the central region of high-density clusters, because the light from the bright cool giants, which dominates the optical emission in old stellar systems, is sensibly reduced at UV wavelengths. Our UV-guided selections of BSSs have been compared to the samples obtained in previous, optical-driven surveys, clearly demonstrating the efficiency of the UV approach. In each cluster we also measured the parameter A +, defined as the area enclosed between the cumulative radial distribution of BSSs and that of a reference population, which traces the level of BSS central segregation and the level of dynamical evolution suffered by the system. The values measured for the four clusters studied in this paper nicely fall along the dynamical sequence recently presented for a sample of 25 clusters.

Publication Date:
Apr 14 2017
Date Submitted:
Feb 22 2019
The Astrophysical Journal

 Record created 2019-02-22, last modified 2020-10-27

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