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Abstract

▪ Abstract 

Abundance variations within globular clusters (GCs), and of GC stars with respect to field stars, are important diagnostics of a variety of physical phenomena, related to the evolution of individual stars, mass transfer in binary systems, and chemical evolution in high density environments. The broad astrophysical implications of GCs as building blocks of our knowledge of the Universe make a full understanding of their history and evolution basic in a variety of astrophysical fields. We review the current status of the research in this field, comparing the abundances in GCs with those obtained for field stars, discussing in depth the evidence for H-burning at high temperatures in GC stars, describing the process of self-enrichment in GCs with particular reference to the case of the most massive Galactic GC (ω Cen), and discussing various classes of cluster stars with abundance anomalies. Whereas the overall pattern might appear very complex at first sight, exciting new scenarios are opening where the interplay between GC dynamical and chemical properties are closely linked with each other.

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/content/journals/10.1146/annurev.astro.42.053102.133945
2004-09-22
2024-06-14
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  • Article Type: Review Article
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