Vol 22, No 9

Searching for Multiple Populations in Star Clusters Using the China Space Station Telescope

Chengyuan Li (李程远), Zhenya Zheng (郑振亚), Xiaodong Li (李霄栋), Xiaoying Pang (庞晓莹), Baitian Tang (汤柏添), Antonino P. Milone, Yue Wang (王悦), Haifeng Wang (王海峰), and Dengkai Jiang (姜登凯)


Multiple stellar populations (MPs) in most star clusters older than 2 Gyr, as seen by lots of spectroscopic and photometric studies, have led to a significant challenge to the traditional view of star formation. In this field, spacebased instruments, in particular the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), have made a breakthrough as they significantly improved the efficiency of detecting MPs in crowded stellar fields by images. The China Space Station Telescope (CSST) and the HST are sensitive to a similar wavelength interval, but the CSST covers a field of view which is about 5–8 times wider than that of HST. One of its instruments, the Multi-Channel Imager (MCI), will have multiple filters covering a wide wavelength range from NUV to NIR, making the CSST a potentially powerful tool for studying MPs in clusters. In this work, we evaluate the efficiency of the designed filters for the MCI/CSST in revealing MPs in different color–magnitude diagrams (CMDs). We find that CMDs made with MCI/CSST photometry in appropriate UV filters are powerful tools to disentangle stellar populations with different abundances of He, C, N, O and Mg. On the contrary, the traditional CMDs are blind to multiple populations in globular clusters (GCs). We show that CSST has the potential of being the spearhead instrument for investigating MPs in GCs in the next decades.


(Galaxy:) globular clusters: general – stars: abundances – techniques: photometric

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