A Novel Method to Automatically Detect and Measure the Ages of Star Clusters in Nearby Galaxies: Application to the Large Magellanic Cloud
González-Lópezlira, R. A.
Ramírez-Siordia, V. H.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
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PublisherIOP PUBLISHING LTD
CitationA Novel Method to Automatically Detect and Measure the Ages of Star Clusters in Nearby Galaxies: Application to the Large Magellanic Cloud 2017, 845 (1):56 The Astrophysical Journal
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Rights© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at email@example.com.
AbstractWe present our new, fully automated method to detect and measure the ages of star clusters in nearby galaxies, where individual stars can be resolved. The method relies purely on statistical analysis of observations and Monte-Carlo simulations to define stellar overdensities in the data. It decontaminates the cluster color-magnitude diagrams and, using a revised version of the Bayesian isochrone fitting code of Ramirez-Siordia et al., estimates the ages of the clusters. Comparisons of our estimates with those from other surveys show the superiority of our method to extract and measure the ages of star clusters, even in the most crowded fields. An application of our method is shown for the high-resolution, multiband imaging of the Large Magellanic Cloud. We detect 4850 clusters in the 7 deg(2) we surveyed, 3451 of which have not been reported before. Our findings suggest multiple epochs of star cluster formation, with the most probable occurring similar to 310 Myr ago. Several of these events are consistent with the epochs of the interactions among the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, and the Galaxy, as predicted by N-body numerical simulations. Finally, the spatially resolved star cluster formation history may suggest an inside-out cluster formation scenario throughout the LMC, for the past 1 Gyr.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsCONACyT Research Fellowships program; CONACyT ; CONICYT; Programa de Astronomia/PCI; FONDO ALMA ; UNAM [PAPIIT IG100115]; DGAPA, UNAM; GA CR [14-21373S]