Indexed on: 28 Mar '14Published on: 28 Mar '14Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Solar and Stellar Astrophysics
NGC 4815 is a populous ~500 Myr open cluster at a Galactocentric radius of 7 kpc observed in the first six months of the Gaia-ESO Survey. Located in the inner Galactic disk, NGC 4815 is an important tracer of the abundance gradient, where few intermediate age open clusters are found. We use the survey derived radial velocities, stellar atmospheric parameters, metallicity, and elemental abundances for stars targeted as potential members of this cluster to carry out an analysis of cluster properties. The radial velocity distribution of stars in the cluster field is used to define the cluster systemic velocity and derive likely cluster membership for stars observed by the Gaia-ESO Survey. We investigate the distributions of Fe and Fe-peak elements, alpha-elements, and the light elements Na and Al and characterize the cluster's internal chemical homogeneity comparing it to the properties of radial velocity non-member stars. Utilizing these cluster properties, the cluster color-magnitude diagram is analyzed and theoretical isochrones are fit to derive cluster reddening, distance, and age. NGC 4815 is found to have a mean [Fe/H]=+0.03. Elemental abundances of cluster members show typically small internal variation, with internal dispersions of ~0.05 dex. [Ca/Fe] and [Si/Fe] show solar ratios, but [Mg/Fe] is moderately enhanced, while [Ti/Fe] appears slightly deficient. As with many open clusters, [Na/Fe] and [Al/Fe] are enhanced, [Na/Fe] significantly so, although the role of internal mixing and the assumption of LTE in the analysis remain to be investigated. From isochrone fits to color-magnitude diagrams, we find a cluster age of 0.5 to 0.63 Gyr, a reddening of E(B-V) = 0.59 to 0.65, and a true distance modulus (m-M) = 11.95 to 12.20, depending on the choice of theoretical models, leading to a Galactocentric distance of 6.9 kpc.