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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
|Near-infrared surface brightness fluctuations and optical colours of Magellanic star clusters|
This work continues our efforts to calibrate model surface brightnessfluctuation luminosities for the study of unresolved stellarpopulations, through a comparison with the data of Magellanic Cloud starclusters. We present here the relation between absoluteKs-band fluctuation magnitude and (V-I) integrated colour,using data from the Two-Micron All-Sky Survey (2MASS) and the DeepNear-Infrared Southern Sky Survey (DENIS), and from the literature. Wecompare the star cluster sample with the sample of early-type galaxiesand spiral bulges studied by Liu et al. We find that intermediate-age toold star clusters lie along a linear correlation with the same slope,within the errors, of that defined by the galaxies in the versus (V-I)diagram. While the calibration by Liu et al. was determined in thecolour range 1.05 < (V-IC)0 < 1.25, oursholds in the interval . This implies, according to Bruzual-Charlot andMouhcine-Lançon models, that the star clusters and the lateststar formation bursts in the galaxies and bulges constitute an agesequence. At the same time, a slight offset between the galaxies and thestar clusters [the latter are ~0.7 mag fainter than the former at agiven value of (V-I)], caused by the difference in metallicity ofroughly a factor of 2, confirms that the versus (V-I) plane maycontribute to break the age-metallicity degeneracy in intermediate-ageand old stellar populations. The confrontation between models and galaxydata also suggests that galaxies with Ks fluctuationmagnitudes that are brighter than predicted, given their (V-I) colour,might be explained in part by longer lifetimes of thermally pulsingasymptotic giant branch stars. A preliminary comparison between the H2MASS data of the Magellanic star clusters and the sample of 47early-type galaxies and spiral bulges observed by Jensen et al. throughthe F160WHubble Space Telescope filter leads to the same basicconclusions: galaxies and star clusters lie along correlations with thesame slope, and there is a slight offset between the star cluster sampleand the galaxies, caused by their different metallicities. Magellanicstar clusters are single populations, while galaxies are compositestellar systems; moreover, the objects analysed live in differentenvironments. Therefore, our findings mean that the relationship betweenfluctuation magnitudes in the near-infrared, and (V-I) might be a fairlyrobust tool for the study of stellar population ages and metallicities,could provide additional constraints on star formation histories, andaid in the calibration of near-infrared surface brightness fluctuationsfor cosmological distance measurements.
|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.
|The evolution of theV-Kcolours of single stellar populations|
Models of evolutionary population synthesis of galaxies rely on theproperties of the so-called single stellar populations (SSP). In thispaper, we discuss how the integrated near-infrared colours, andespecially V-K, of SSPs evolve with age and metallicity. Some of theuncertainties associated with the properties of the underlying stellarmodels are thoroughly discussed. Our models include all the relevantstellar evolutionary phases, with particular attention being dedicatedto the asymptotic giant branch (AGB), which plays a fundamental role inthe evolution of the near-infrared part of the spectrum. First, wepresent the effects that different formulations for the mass-loss ratesproduce on the final remnant mass (i.e., on the initial-final massrelation), and hence on the AGB-termination luminosity and the relativecontribution of these stars to the integrated light. The results for theevolution of the V-K colour are very different depending on the choiceof the mass-loss prescription; the same is true also for the B-V colourin the case of low-metallicity SSPs. Secondly, we describe the changesoccurring in the integrated colours at the onset of the AGB and redgiant (RGB) branches. According to the classical formalism for the AGBevolution, the onset of this evolutionary phase is marked by a colourjump to the red, the amplitude of which is shown here to be highlydependent on the metallicity and mass-loss rates adopted in the models.We then consider the effect of the overluminosity with respect to thestandard core mass-luminosity relation that occurs in the most massiveAGB stars. Different simplified formulations for this effect are testedin the models; they cause a smoothing of the colour evolution in the agerange at which the AGB starts to develop, rather than a splitting of thecolour jump into two separate events. On the other hand, we find that atemporary red phase takes place ~1.5x10^8 yr after the RGB develops.Thanks to the transient nature of this feature, the onset of the RGB isprobably not able to cause marked features in the spectral evolution ofgalaxies. We then discuss the possible reasons for the transition of V-Kcolours (from ~1.5 to 3) that takes place in LMC clusters of SWB typeIV. A revision of the ages attributed to the single clusters revealsthat the transition may not be as fast as originally suggested. Thecomparison of the data with the models indicates that the transitionresults mainly from the development of the AGB. A gradual (or delayed)transition of the colours, as predicted by models which include theoverluminosity of the most massive AGB stars, seems to describe the databetter than the sudden colour jump predicted by classical models.
|Ultraviolet ages of young clusters in the Magellanic Clouds.|
Following a previous investigation on the integrated UV colours ofstellar clusters (Barbero et al. 1990), we study the calibration of theultraviolet colour index C(15-31) in terms of cluster age, usingobservations by the International Ultraviolet Explorer of 29 young andpopulous clusters of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and of the SmallMagellanic Cloud (SMC). The study is limited to the range of ages5x10^6^ to 8x10^8^yr, which is free from contamination by HorizontalBranch stars. It is shown that in this range of ages the theoreticalsequence C(15-31) vs. age agrees well with the one derived by combiningthe observed colour index C(15-31) with the ages determined viaisochrone fitting to the colour-magnitude diagrams while systematicdifferences, which are discussed on here, exist with respect to the agecalibration by Meurer, Cacciari and Freeman (1990). The present agecalibration C(15-31) vs. log(t), provided in an analytical form, isfinally used to determine the ages of the 29 clusters in our sample,including 13 objects for which no determination was available via theisochrone fitting method.
|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.
|Ultraviolet spectral evolution of star clusters in the IUE library.|
The ultraviolet integrated spectra of star clusters and H II regions inthe IUE library have been classified into groups based on their spectralappearance, as well as on age and metallicity information from otherstudies. We have coadded the spectra in these groups according to theirS/N ratio, creating a library of template spectra for futureapplications in population syntheses in galaxies. We define spectralwindows for equivalent width measurements and for continuum tracings.These measurements in the spectra of the templates are studied as afunction of age and metallicity. We indicate the windows with a strongmetallicity dependence, at different age stages.
|Integrated colour distributions of young clusters of the Large Magellanic Cloud|
The positions of young clusters of the LMC in different two-colordiagrams is discussed using UV, visible and IR data. It has been foundthat the spread increases as redder photometric bands are considered.Numerical simulations are performed in order to test the hypothesis thatsuch spread is due to stochastic fluctuations of the mass distributionof evolved stars.
|Analysis of the UV spectra of young clusters of the Large Magellanic Cloud|
UV and visual spectral energy distributions of young generations havebeen synthesized from evolutionary tracks in the HR diagram and modelatmospheres. The influence of several parameters has also been analyzed.Their UV portions have been checked with the UV spectra of 24 clustersof the LMC obtained by Cassatella et al. (1987). The models generallyagree well with the observations and make it possible to derive ages forvarious assumed abundances. Ages thus derived have been compared, in anage-age diagram, with those obtained from the integrated UBV photometry.While there are no systematic differences between these two agedeterminations, a fraction of clusters displays a large scatter, largerthan what is expected from the observational errors alone. Possiblecauses for this scatter are briefly analyzed.
|Near-infrared spectral evolution of blue LMC clusters : a comparison with galactic open clusters.|
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1990RMxAA..21..202B
|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.
|Blue Magellanic clusters - Near-infrared spectral evolution|
New integrated spectra in the range 5600-10,000 A are presented for 28LMC and 3 SMC young star clusters. The equivalent widths (W) ofprominent features and the continuum distribution are measured. Theanalysis, supplemented by 8 additional LMC clusters from previousstudies, indicates that the red supergiant phase is indeed verytime-peaked, occuring from 7 to 12 Myr. In addition to the previous caseof NGC 2004, it is found that NGC 1805, NGC 1994, NGC 2002, NGC 2098,and NGC 2100 (as well as NGC 2011 to a lesser extent) are undergoingthis phase. The red supergiant phase is clearly denoted by strong TiObands and Ca II triplet as well as a flat continuum or (in extremecases) a continuum with positive slope above 6000 A.
|Ultraviolet colors as age indicators for LMC clusters|
Empirical correlations are found between log ages and the intrinsicultraviolet colors for 27 LMC clusters. The problems and limitations ofusing these correlations as age indicators for LMC clusters and otherstellar populations are discussed. The correlations are used to estimatethe ages of two LMC clusters of unknown age (NGC 1968 and NGC 1974) andthe nuclei of two nearby blue compact dwarf galaxies (NGC 1705 and NGC5253). For the latter two objects optical- and ultraviolet-based ageestimates are in good agreement.
|The age calibration of integrated ultraviolet colors and young stellar clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud|
Integrated colors in selected far-UV bands are presented for a largesample of Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) clusters. Theoreticalcalculations of these integrated colors are derived and discussed. Thelocation in the two-color diagram C(18-28), C(15-31) is expected to be asensitive but smooth function of cluster age for ages in the range 5 to800 million yr. Theoretical results appear in very good agreement withthe observed colors of LMC clusters. From this comparison, the gap inthe observed colors is suggested to be caused by the lack of LMCclusters in the range of ages between 200 million to one billion yr. Thetwo-color location of old globulars is discussed, also in connectionwith available data for the M31 clusters.
|The ultraviolet spectra of M31 globular clusters|
Ultraviolet spectra of 11 of the brightest globular clusters in M31 showthat some exhibit residual flux below 3000 A, greater than that expectedfrom the bright, evolved stars in the cluster. There seems to be noapparent correlation of the strength of this ultraviolet flux withparameters such as metallicity, U-B color, visual magnitude, X-rayemission, or location within the parent galaxy. However, comparison ofthe ultraviolet colors of the M31 globular clusters with those in theGalaxy and in the Large Magellanic Cloud suggests that the M31 clustersmay contain a high percentage of blue horizontal-branch stars or thatsome clusters could be as young as about 2 x 10 to the 9th yr.
|A preliminary survey of collapsed cores in the Magellanic Clouds' globular clusters|
A preliminary report on a surface photometry survey for collapsed coresin the Magellanic Clouds' globular clusters is presented. Coremorphology classifications are given for the 33 globular clustersexamined so far. One cluster, NGC 2019, shows definite signs of acollapsed core, and two others, NGC 1774 and NGC 1951, appear as strongcandidates. This detection of postcollapse cores outside the Milky Wayopens some interesting prospects for future dynamical studies. However,the fraction of collapsed-core clusters appears to be smaller in theMagellanic Clouds than in the Galaxy. This may be due in part to theiryounger ages, or to the limitations imposed by the seeing effects. It isalso possible that the relative scarcity reflects the physicaldifference in the tidal field environments between the Galaxy and theClouds, in agreement with a trend found earlier, viz., that the tidalshocks from disk passages accelerate dynamical evolution and enhance thepropensity for core collapse.
|Ultraviolet observations by the IUE of 31 clusters of the Large Magellanic Cloud|
Ultraviolet observations of 31 star clusters of the Large MagellanicCloud obtained by the International Ultraviolet Explorer are presented.The clusters, mostly globular, span the range of ages from about 10 tothe 7th to 10 to the 10th yr. The sample includes several young globularclusters, which have no counterpart in the Galaxy. The paper is devotedto the study of the basic properties of the clusters in the ultraviolet,such as the interstellar reddening, the spatial extension in theultraviolet, and the ultraviolet color indices. These data are essentialfor a later study of the evolutionary stage of the clusters. Oneimportant result of this study is that a discontinuity exists in the UVtwo-color diagram, a fact which deserves further investigation, since itmight support the suggestion made by other authors that an active starformation phase took place in the Large Magellanic Cloud starting about100 million yr ago.
|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.
|IUE observations of the clusters of the Magellanic Clouds|
IUE observations of 17 clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud arepresented. The derived ultraviolet colors become progressively redder asthe cluster's classification in the scheme of Searle, Wilkinson, andBagnuolo increases. With the aid of theoretical models of the integratedlight of coeval clusters of varying ages, it is shown that the SWBclassification is one of increasing age accompanied by decreasingmetallicity toward later SWB classes. The behavior of the UV absorptionline features in the integrated light of the LMC clusters supports thecontention.
|Photometric studies of composite stellar systems. V - Infrared photometry of star clusters in the Magellanic clouds|
Abstract image available at:http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/1983ApJ...266..105P
|A Catalogue of Clusters in The LMC|
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