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The Astrophysical Journal, Supplement Series


In this study we compare the photometric data of 34 Milky Way globular clusters, observed within the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) Treasury Program (PI: A. Sarajedini) with the corresponding ground-based data, provided by the Photometric Standard Field Catalogs of Stetson. We focus on the transformation between the Hubble Space Telescope/ACS F606W to V-band and F814W to I-band only. The goal is to assess the validity of the filter transformation equations by Sirianni et al. with respect to their dependence on metallicity, horizontal branch morphology, mass, and integrated (VI) color of the various globular clusters. The transformation equations as recommended by Sirianni et al. are based on synthetic photometry, were mostly tested on NGC 2419, and may introduce additional uncertainties when applied to different stellar populations. Such a dependence is expected due to the fact that the transformation equations are based on the observations of only one globular cluster, i.e., NGC 2419. Surprisingly, the correlation between offset and metallicity is found to be weak, with a low level significance. The correlation between offset and horizontal branch structure, as well as total cluster mass is still weaker. Based on the available data we do not find the photometric offset to be linked to multiple stellar populations, e.g., as found in NGC 0288, NGC 1851, and NGC 5139. The results of this study show that there are small systematic offsets between the transformed ACS- and observed ground-based photometry, and that these are only weakly correlated, if at all, with various cluster parameters and their underlying stellar populations. As a result, investigators wishing to transform globular cluster photometry from the Sirianni et al. ground-based V, I system onto the Stetson system simply need to add –0.040 (±0.012) to the V magnitudes and –0.047 (±0.011) to the I magnitudes. This in turn means that the transformed ACS VI colors match the ground-based values from Stetson to within ~0.01 mag.