PI: Paco Najarro, Center of Astrobiology, CAB, CSIC-INTA, Spain, firstname.lastname@example.org
CoI: Donald Figer, Rochester Institute of Technology (CIS)
CoI: Tom Geballe, Gemini Observatory - North
CoI: Diego de la Fuente, Center of Astrobiology, CAB, CSIC, Spain
Title: Metallicity in the Quintuplet Cluster and the Galactic Center: Evidence for a top-heavy star formation history?
Abstract: Massive star clusters are the breeding grounds for stars of all masses, and the primary birthplaces of the most massive stars in galaxies. The Quintuplet cluster, in our Galaxy, is one of the most massive resolved young clusters in the Local Group and is a test bed for studying the star formation history of the region and testing for a top-heavy star formation scenario by measuring the alpha-elements and iron absolute abundances and their corresponding ratios. We have recently developed two different techniques to derive metallicity from infrared observations of LBVs and WR stars. For LBVs, absolute alpha-elements (Si, Mg) and iron abundances may be obtained, while for WRs it is possible to derive the alpha-element (oxygen) abundance of the natal cloud. The Quintuplet cluster offers a unique site to obtain metal abundances using such techniques. Thus, we propose to obtain near-infrared GNIRS spectra of the high-mass stars in the Quintuplet cluster and isolated massive stars in the inner Galactic Center region in order to extract stellar properties, ages, and abundances and hence address the top heavy question.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360