We present analyses of variability in the red giant stars in the metal-poor globular cluster NGC 6397, based on data obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. We use a nonstandard data reduction approach to turn a 23 day observing run originally aimed at imaging the white dwarf population, into time-series photometry of the cluster's highly saturated red giant stars. With this technique we obtain noise levels in the final power spectra down to 50 parts per million, which allows us to search for low-amplitude solar-like oscillations. We compare the observed excess power seen in the power spectra with estimates of the typical frequency range, frequency spacing, and amplitude from scaling the solar oscillations. We see evidence that the detected variability is consistent with solar-like oscillations in at least one and perhaps up to four stars. With metallicities 2 orders of magnitude lower than those of the Sun, these stars present so far the best evidence of solar-like oscillations in such a low-metallicity environment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science