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|Ages and Metallicities of Extragalactic Globular Clusters from Spectral and Photometric Fits of Stellar Population Synthesis Models|
Spectra of galaxies contain an enormous amount of information about therelative mixture of ages and metallicities of constituent stars. Wepresent a comprehensive study designed to extract the maximuminformation from spectra of data quality typical in large galaxysurveys. These techniques are not intended for detailed stellarpopulation studies that use high-quality spectra. We test techniques ona sample of globular clusters, which should consist of single stellarpopulations and provide good test cases, using the Bruzual-Charlothigh-resolution stellar population synthesis models to simultaneouslyestimate the ages and metallicities of 101 globular clusters in M31 andthe Magellanic Clouds. The clusters cover a wide range of ages andmetallicities, 4 Myr
|Infrared Surface Brightness Fluctuations of Magellanic Star Clusters|
We present surface brightness fluctuations (SBFs) in the near-IR for 191Magellanic star clusters available in the Second Incremental and All SkyData releases of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) and compare themwith SBFs of Fornax Cluster galaxies and with predictions from stellarpopulation models as well. We also construct color-magnitude diagrams(CMDs) for these clusters using the 2MASS Point Source Catalog (PSC).Our goals are twofold. The first is to provide an empirical calibrationof near-IR SBFs, given that existing stellar population synthesis modelsare particularly discrepant in the near-IR. Second, whereas mostprevious SBF studies have focused on old, metal-rich populations, thisis the first application to a system with such a wide range of ages(~106 to more than 1010 yr, i.e., 4 orders ofmagnitude), at the same time that the clusters have a very narrow rangeof metallicities (Z~0.0006-0.01, i.e., 1 order of magnitude only). Sincestellar population synthesis models predict a more complex sensitivityof SBFs to metallicity and age in the near-IR than in the optical, thisanalysis offers a unique way of disentangling the effects of age andmetallicity. We find a satisfactory agreement between models and data.We also confirm that near-IR fluctuations and fluctuation colors aremostly driven by age in the Magellanic cluster populations and that inthis respect they constitute a sequence in which the Fornax Clustergalaxies fit adequately. Fluctuations are powered by red supergiantswith high-mass precursors in young populations and by intermediate-massstars populating the asymptotic giant branch in intermediate-agepopulations. For old populations, the trend with age of both fluctuationmagnitudes and colors can be explained straightforwardly by evolution inthe structure and morphology of the red giant branch. Moreover,fluctuation colors display a tendency to redden with age that can befitted by a straight line. For the star clusters only,(H-Ks)=(0.21+/-0.03)log(age)-(1.29+/-0.22) once galaxies areincluded, (H-Ks)=(0.20+/-0.02)log(age)-(1.25+/-0.16).Finally, we use for the first time a Poissonian approach to establishthe error bars of fluctuation measurements, instead of the customaryMonte Carlo simulations.This research has made use of the NASA/ IPAC Infrared Science Archive,which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Instituteof Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration.
|A Revised and Extended Catalog of Magellanic System Clusters, Associations, and Emission Nebulae. II. The Large Magellanic Cloud|
A survey of extended objects in the Large Magellanic Cloud was carriedout on the ESO/SERC R and J Sky Survey Atlases, checking entries inprevious catalogs and searching for new objects. The census provided6659 objects including star clusters, emission-free associations, andobjects related to emission nebulae. Each of these classes containsthree subclasses with intermediate properties, which are used to infertotal populations. The survey includes cross identifications amongcatalogs, and we present 3246 new objects. We provide accuratepositions, classification, and homogeneous measurements of sizes andposition angles, as well as information on cluster pairs andhierarchical relation for superimposed objects. This unification andenlargement of catalogs is important for future searches of fainter andsmaller new objects. We discuss the angular and size distributions ofthe objects of the different classes. The angular distributions show twooff-centered systems with different inclinations, suggesting that theLMC disk is warped. The present catalog together with its previouscounterpart for the SMC and the inter-Cloud region provide a totalpopulation of 7847 extended objects in the Magellanic System. Theangular distribution of the ensemble reveals important clues on theinteraction between the LMC and SMC.
|Integrated UBV Photometry of 624 Star Clusters and Associations in the Large Magellanic Cloud|
We present a catalog of integrated UBV photometry of 504 star clustersand 120 stellar associations in the LMC, part of them still embedded inemitting gas. We study age groups in terms of equivalent SWB typesderived from the (U-B) X (B-V) diagram. The size of the spatialdistributions increases steadily with age (SWB types), whereas adifference of axial ratio exists between the groups younger than 30 Myrand those older, which implies a nearly face-on orientation for theformer and a tilt of ~45^deg^ for the latter groups. Asymmetries arepresent in the spatial distributions, which, together with thenoncoincidence of the centroids for different age groups, suggest thatthe LMC disk was severely perturbed in the past.
|Blue-violet spectral evolution of young Magellanic Cloud clusters|
We study the integrated spectral evolution in the blue-violet range of97 blue star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds, from those associatedwith gas emission to those as old as a few hundred Myr. Some clustersare dominated by the flux of those massive stars that pass throughevolutionary stages such as Wolf-Rayet, Luminous Blue Variable, Be, andsupergiant stars of different temperatures. The relationships amongspectral features such as absorption and emission lines, Balmerdiscontinuity and Balmer continuum are used to study the spectralevolution of the clusters. Finally, we sort into groups spectra ofsimilar evolutionary stages, creating a template spectral library withpossible applications in stellar populations syntheses of star-forminggalaxies and in the spectral simulation of bursts of star formation withdifferent mean ages and durations.
|The cluster system of the Large Magellanic Cloud|
A new catalog of clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud has beenconstructed from searches of the IIIa-J component of the ESO/SERCSouthern Sky Atlas. The catalog contains coordinate and diametermeasurements of 1762 clusters in a 25 deg x 25 deg area of sky centeredon the LMC, but excluding the very crowded 3.5 sq deg region around theBar. The distribution of these clusters appears as two superimposedelliptical systems. The higher density inner system extends over about 8deg; the lower density outer system can be represented by a 13 deg x 10deg disk inclined at 42 deg to the line of sight. There are suggestionsof two weak 'arms' in the latter.
|Observed dynamical parameters of the disk clusters of the LMC. I|
A study of the observed dynamical parameters of 32 globular clusters ofthe LMC disk has been carried out by means of star counts. The clusterswere measured on a set of three plates (J, V, I) taken with the 1.2 mU.K. Schmidt Telescope. The derived tidal radii were all found to belarge within a very narrow range. As a consequence the range of thetotal masses was found to be very narrow as well. These two parametersare large in comparison to those of the disk young clusters of thegalaxy but they are similar to the dimensions of the halo galacticglobulars.
|Age calibration and age distribution for rich star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud|
An empirical relation is presented for estimating the ages of rich starclusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), to within a factor ofabout 2, from their integrated UBV colors. The calibration is based onpublished ages for 58 LMC clusters derived from main-sequencephotometry, integrated spectra, or the extent of the asymptotic giantbranches. Using stellar population models, a sample of LMC clusters moremassive than about 10,000 solar masses is isolated, which is correctedfor incompleteness as a function of magnitude. An unbiased agedistribution for three clusters is then determined. The number ofclusters decreases with increasing age in a manner that is qualitativelysimilar to the age distribution for the open clusters in our Galaxy. TheLMC age distribution is, however, flatter, and the median age of theclusters is greater. If the formation rate has been approximatelyconstant over the history of the two galaxies, then the age distributionobtained here implies that clusters are disrupted more slowly in theLMC. The results contain no evidence for bursts in the formation ofclusters, although fluctuations on small time scales and slow variationsover the lifetime of the LMC cannot be ruled out.
|A Catalogue of Clusters in The LMC|
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