Wednesday, January 16, 2013

1301.3381 (Stefano Rubele et al.)

The star formation history of the Large Magellanic Cloud star clusters NGC1846 and NGC1783    [PDF]

Stefano Rubele, Leo Girardi, Vera Kozhurina-Platais, Leandro Kerber, Paul Goudfrooij, Alessandro Bressan, Paola Marigo
NGC1846 and NGC1783 are two massive star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud, hosting both an extended main sequence turn-off and a dual clump of red giants. They present similar masses but differ mainly in angular size. Starting from their high-quality ACS data in the F435W, F555W and F814W filters, and updated sets of stellar evolutionary tracks, we derive their star formation rates as a function of age, SFR(t), by means of the classical method of CMD reconstruction which is usually applied to nearby galaxies. The method confirms the extended periods of star formation derived from previous analysis of the same data. When the analysis is performed for a finer resolution in age, we find clear evidence for a 50-Myr long hiatus between the oldest peak in the SFR(t), and a second prolonged period of star formation, in both clusters. For the more compact cluster NGC1846, there seems to be no significant difference between the SFR(t) in the cluster centre and in an annulus with radii between 20 and 60 arcsec (from 4.8 to 15.4 pc). The same does not occur in the more extended NGC1783 cluster, where the outer ring (between 33 and 107 arcsec, from 8.0 to 25.9 pc) is found to be slightly younger than the centre. We also explore the best-fitting slope of the present-day mass function and binary fraction for the different cluster regions, finding hints of a varying mass function between centre and outer ring in NGC1783. These findings are discussed within the present scenarios for the formation of clusters with multiple turn-offs.
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