AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 22 Open Clusters Young and Old
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[22.11] Stellar Abundances in the Oldest Open Cluster, Berkeley 17

E. D. Friel (NSF), H. R. Jacobson, C. A. Pilachowski (Indiana U.)

Berkeley 17 is, by many measures, the oldest of the open clusters in the Milky Way, with age estimates that range from 7 to 12 Gyr. Its great age, as well as its location in the outer disk of the Galaxy, make it a particularly interesting object for studies of the chemical evolution of the Galactic disk. As part of a program of abundance studies of old open clusters, we present an analysis of high-dispersion echelle spectra of three giant stars in Berkeley 17 obtained with the KPNO 4-meter telescope. Abundances were determined relative to the bright, slightly metal-poor disk giant Arcturus. Be 17 is found to have a mean [Fe/H] = -0.11 ±0.05 (mean error). Oxygen abundances, determined from the forbidden [O I] lines, show solar abundance ratios. The alpha-elements Mg, Ca, and Ti also show scaled solar abundance ratios, with suggestions that the Si abundance is slightly enhanced. The odd-Z elements Na and Al are significantly enhanced relative to scaled solar abundances. The abundances of Be 17 are compared to those of other old open clusters and found to be quite similar to clusters of comparable age and location in the Galaxy.

Any opinions, findings, and conclusions and recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.