AAS 199th meeting, Washington, DC, January 2002
Session 137. Topics in Stellar Evolution
Display, Thursday, January 10, 2002, 9:20am-4:00pm, Exhibit Hall

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[137.05] Rotational Velocities of Field Blue Horizontal Branch Stars

V.K. Weafer (DAO-HIA, Mount Allison University), J.P. Fulbright (DAO-HIA)

This study is motivated by interest in the much-debated ``second-parameter" problem. Deep mixing, driven by angular momentum, has been proposed as a second parameter controlling horizontal-branch colour morphology (Sweigart & Mengel 1979). Observations of low-metallicity field giant stars show little evidence of deep mixing (Kraft 1994, Wallerstein et al. 1997, Gratton et al. 2000). We therefore expect that field horizontal branch stars may show little evidence of rotation.

We have used high-resolution spectra from Keck and Lick observatories to find the projected rotational velocity (v sin i) of 44 blue (-0.04 <= B-V <= 0.20) horizontal branch stars in the halo field. Selected Fe and Ti absorption lines were co-added in velocity space to create an average line profile for each star. To find v sin i, the average profile was compared to similarly-averaged synthesised lines. We have compared the v sin i values of the sample to those of the blue horizontal branch stars in the second-parameter globular-cluster pair, M3 and M13 (Peterson et al. 1995). Although further work is needed to completely establish the velocity distribution of the sample, we have found that the sample has rotational velocities more similar to M13 than to M3, with at least 5 stars showing v sin i > = 25 km/s.

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