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Nils Ryde. Photo.

Nils Ryde


Nils Ryde. Photo.

Temperatures and metallicities of M giants in the Galactic bulge from low-resolution K -band spectra


  • M. Schultheis
  • N. Ryde
  • G. Nandakumar

Summary, in English

Context. With the existing and upcoming large multifibre low-resolution spectrographs, the question arises of how precise stellar parameters such as Teff and [Fe/H] can be obtained from low-resolution K-band spectra with respect to traditional photometric temperature measurements. Until now, most of the effective temperatures in Galactic bulge studies come directly from photometric techniques. Uncertainties in interstellar reddening and in the assumed extinction law could lead to large systematic errors (>200 K). Aims. We obtain and calibrate the relation between Teff and the 12CO first overtone bands for M giants in the Galactic bulge covering a wide range in metallicity. Methods. We used low-resolution spectra for 20 M giants with well-studied parameters from photometric measurements covering the temperature range 3200 < Teff < 4500 K and a metallicity range from 0.5 dex down to -1.2 dex and study the behaviour of Teff and [Fe/H] on the spectral indices. Results. We find a tight relation between Teff and the 12CO(2-0) band with a dispersion of 95 K and between Teff and the 12CO(3-1) with a dispersion of 120 K. We do not find any dependence of these relations on the metallicity of the star, which makes them attractive for Galactic bulge studies. This relation is also not sensitive to the spectral resolution, which allows this relation to be applied in a more general way. We also find a correlation between the combination of the Na i, Ca i, and the 12CO band with the metallicity of the star. However, this relation is only valid for subsolar metallicities. Conclusions. We show that low-resolution spectra provide a powerful tool for obtaining effective temperatures of M giants. We show that this relation does not depend on the metallicity of the star within the investigated range and is also applicable to different spectral resolutions making this relation in general useful for deriving effective temperatures in high-extinction regions where photometric temperatures are not reliable.


  • Lund Observatory

Publishing year





Astronomy and Astrophysics



Document type

Journal article


EDP Sciences


  • Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology


  • Galaxy: bulge
  • infrared: stars
  • stars: fundamental parameters
  • stars: late-type




  • ISSN: 0004-6361