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Title: Star-cluster mass and age distributions of two fields in M83 based on HST/WFC3 observations

Abstract

We study star clusters in two fields in the nearby spiral galaxy M83 using broadband and narrowband optical imaging taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. We present results on the basis of several different catalogs of star clusters in inner and outer fields, and we conclude that different methods of selection do not strongly affect the results, particularly for clusters older than ≈10 Myr. The age distributions can be described by a power law, dN/dτ∝τ{sup γ}, with γ ≈ –0.84 ± 0.12 in the inner field, and γ ≈ –0.48 ± 0.12 in the outer field for τ ≳ 10 Myr. We bracket the difference, Δγ, between the two fields to be in the 0.18 to 0.36 range, based on estimates of the relative star-formation histories. The mass functions can also be described by a power law, dN/dM∝M {sup β}, with β ≈ –1.98 ± 0.14 and β ≈ –2.34 ± 0.26 in the inner and outer fields, respectively. We conclude that the shapes of the mass and age distributions of the clusters in the two fields are similar, as predicted by the quasi-universal model. Any differences between the two fields are at themore » ≈2σ-3σ (≈1σ-2σ) level for the age (mass) distributions. Therefore, any dependence of these distributions on the local environment is probably weak. We compare the shapes of the distributions with those predicted by two popular cluster disruption models. We find that both show evidence that the clusters are disrupted at a rate that is approximately independent of their mass. We compare the shapes of the distributions with those predicted by two popular cluster disruption models, and find that both show evidence that the clusters are disrupted at a rate that is approximately independent of their mass, and that observational results do not support the earlier disruption of lower-mass clusters relative to their higher-mass counterparts.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3];  [4]
  1. Department of Physics and Astronomy, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States)
  2. Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD (United States)
  3. Department of Astronomy, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 (United States)
  4. Department of Astronomy, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4325 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22356868
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astrophysical Journal; Journal Volume: 787; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; APPROXIMATIONS; CATALOGS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; GALAXIES; MASS; MASS DISTRIBUTION; SPACE; STAR CLUSTERS; STARS; TELESCOPES

Citation Formats

Chandar, Rupali, Whitmore, Bradley C., Calzetti, Daniela, and O'Connell, Robert, E-mail: Rupali.Chandar@utoledo.edu. Star-cluster mass and age distributions of two fields in M83 based on HST/WFC3 observations. United States: N. p., 2014. Web. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/787/1/17.
Chandar, Rupali, Whitmore, Bradley C., Calzetti, Daniela, & O'Connell, Robert, E-mail: Rupali.Chandar@utoledo.edu. Star-cluster mass and age distributions of two fields in M83 based on HST/WFC3 observations. United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/787/1/17.
Chandar, Rupali, Whitmore, Bradley C., Calzetti, Daniela, and O'Connell, Robert, E-mail: Rupali.Chandar@utoledo.edu. Tue . "Star-cluster mass and age distributions of two fields in M83 based on HST/WFC3 observations". United States. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/787/1/17.
@article{osti_22356868,
title = {Star-cluster mass and age distributions of two fields in M83 based on HST/WFC3 observations},
author = {Chandar, Rupali and Whitmore, Bradley C. and Calzetti, Daniela and O'Connell, Robert, E-mail: Rupali.Chandar@utoledo.edu},
abstractNote = {We study star clusters in two fields in the nearby spiral galaxy M83 using broadband and narrowband optical imaging taken with the Wide Field Camera 3 onboard the Hubble Space Telescope. We present results on the basis of several different catalogs of star clusters in inner and outer fields, and we conclude that different methods of selection do not strongly affect the results, particularly for clusters older than ≈10 Myr. The age distributions can be described by a power law, dN/dτ∝τ{sup γ}, with γ ≈ –0.84 ± 0.12 in the inner field, and γ ≈ –0.48 ± 0.12 in the outer field for τ ≳ 10 Myr. We bracket the difference, Δγ, between the two fields to be in the 0.18 to 0.36 range, based on estimates of the relative star-formation histories. The mass functions can also be described by a power law, dN/dM∝M {sup β}, with β ≈ –1.98 ± 0.14 and β ≈ –2.34 ± 0.26 in the inner and outer fields, respectively. We conclude that the shapes of the mass and age distributions of the clusters in the two fields are similar, as predicted by the quasi-universal model. Any differences between the two fields are at the ≈2σ-3σ (≈1σ-2σ) level for the age (mass) distributions. Therefore, any dependence of these distributions on the local environment is probably weak. We compare the shapes of the distributions with those predicted by two popular cluster disruption models. We find that both show evidence that the clusters are disrupted at a rate that is approximately independent of their mass. We compare the shapes of the distributions with those predicted by two popular cluster disruption models, and find that both show evidence that the clusters are disrupted at a rate that is approximately independent of their mass, and that observational results do not support the earlier disruption of lower-mass clusters relative to their higher-mass counterparts.},
doi = {10.1088/0004-637X/787/1/17},
journal = {Astrophysical Journal},
number = 1,
volume = 787,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 20 00:00:00 EDT 2014},
month = {Tue May 20 00:00:00 EDT 2014}
}
  • The newly installed Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) on the Hubble Space Telescope has been used to obtain multi-band images of the nearby spiral galaxy M83. These new observations are the deepest and highest resolution images ever taken of a grand-design spiral, particularly in the near-ultraviolet, and allow us to better differentiate compact star clusters from individual stars and to measure the luminosities of even faint clusters in the U band. We find that the luminosity function (LF) for clusters outside of the very crowded starburst nucleus can be approximated by a power law, dN/dL {proportional_to} L {sup {alpha}}, withmore » {alpha} = -2.04 {+-} 0.08, down to M{sub V} {approx} -5.5. We test the sensitivity of the LF to different selection techniques, filters, binning, and aperture correction determinations, and find that none of these contribute significantly to uncertainties in {alpha}. We estimate ages and masses for the clusters by comparing their measured UBVI, H{alpha} colors with predictions from single stellar population models. The age distribution of the clusters can be approximated by a power law, dN/d{tau} {proportional_to} {tau}{sup {gamma}}, with {gamma} = -0.9 {+-} 0.2, for M {approx}> few x 10{sup 3} M {sub sun} and {tau} {approx}< 4 x 10{sup 8} yr. This indicates that clusters are disrupted quickly, with {approx}80%-90% disrupted each decade in age over this time. The mass function of clusters over the same M-{tau} range is a power law, dN/dM {proportional_to} M {sup {beta}}, with {beta} = -1.94 {+-} 0.16, and does not have bends or show curvature at either high or low masses. Therefore, we do not find evidence for a physical upper mass limit, M{sub C} , or for the earlier disruption of lower mass clusters when compared with higher mass clusters, i.e., mass-dependent disruption. We briefly discuss these implications for the formation and disruption of the clusters.« less
  • We present a multi-wavelength photometric study of {approx}15,000 resolved stars in the nearby spiral galaxy M83 (NGC 5236, D = 4.61 Mpc) based on Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 observations using four filters: F336W, F438W, F555W, and F814W. We select 50 regions (an average size of 260 pc by 280 pc) in the spiral arm and inter-arm areas of M83 and determine the age distribution of the luminous stellar populations in each region. This is accomplished by correcting for extinction toward each individual star by comparing its colors with predictions from stellar isochrones. We compare the resulting luminosity-weightedmore » mean ages of the luminous stars in the 50 regions with those determined from several independent methods, including the number ratio of red-to-blue supergiants, morphological appearance of the regions, surface brightness fluctuations, and the ages of clusters in the regions. We find reasonably good agreement between these methods. We also find that young stars are much more likely to be found in concentrated aggregates along spiral arms, while older stars are more dispersed. These results are consistent with the scenario that star formation is associated with the spiral arms, and stars form primarily in star clusters and then disperse on short timescales to form the field population. The locations of Wolf-Rayet stars are found to correlate with the positions of many of the youngest regions, providing additional support for our ability to accurately estimate ages. We address the effects of spatial resolution on the measured colors, magnitudes, and age estimates. While individual stars can occasionally show measurable differences in the colors and magnitudes, the age estimates for entire regions are only slightly affected.« less
  • B514 is a remote M31 globular cluster (GC) which is located at a projected distance of R{sub p} {approx_equal} 55 kpc. Deep observations with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope are used to provide accurate integrated light and star counts of B514. By coupling the analysis of the distribution of the integrated light with star counts, we are able to reliably follow the profile of the cluster out to {approx}40''. Based on the combined profile, we study in detail its surface brightness distribution in the F606W and F814W filters and determine its structural parameters by fittingmore » a single-mass isotropic King model. The results showed that the surface brightness distribution departs from the best-fit King model for r > 10''. B514 is quite flat in the inner region and has a larger half-light radius than the majority of normal GCs of the same luminosity. It is interesting that, in the M{sub V} versus log R{sub h} plane, B514 lies nearly on the threshold for ordinary GCs as defined by Mackey and van den Bergh. In addition, B514 was observed as part of the Beijing-Arizona-Taiwan-Connecticut (BATC) Multicolor Sky Survey, using 13 intermediate-band filters covering a wavelength range of 3000-8500 A. Based on aperture photometry, we obtain its spectral energy distributions (SEDs) as defined by the 13 BATC filters. We determine the cluster's age and mass by comparing its SEDs (from 2267 to 20000 Angstrom-Sign , comprised of photometric data from the near-ultraviolet band of the Galaxy Evolution Explorer, 5 Sloan Digital Sky Survey bands, 13 BATC intermediate-band filters, and Two Micron All Sky Survey near-infrared JHK{sub s} filters) with theoretical stellar population synthesis models, resulting in an age of 11.5 {+-} 3.5 Gyr. This age confirms the previous suggestion that B514 is an old GC in M31. B514 has a mass of 0.96-1.08 Multiplication-Sign 10{sup 6} M{sub Sun} and is a medium-mass GC in M31.« less
  • We investigate the loss of low-mass stars in two of the faintest globular clusters known, AM 4 and Palomar 13 (Pal 13), using HST/WFC3 F606W and F814W photometry. To determine the physical properties of each cluster—age, mass, metallicity, extinction, and present day mass function (MF)—we use the maximum likelihood color-magnitude diagram (CMD) fitting program MATCH and the Dartmouth, Padova, and BaSTI stellar evolution models. For AM 4, the Dartmouth models provide the best match to the CMD and yield an age of >13 Gyr, metallicity log Z/Z {sub ☉} = –1.68 ± 0.08, a distance modulus (m – M) {submore » V} = 17.47 ± 0.03, and reddening A{sub V} = 0.19 ± 0.02. For Pal 13 the Dartmouth models give an age of 13.4 ± 0.5 Gyr, log Z/Z {sub ☉} = –1.55 ± 0.06, (m – M) {sub V} = 17.17 ± 0.02, and A{sub V} = 0.43 ± 0.01. We find that the systematic uncertainties due to choice in assumed stellar model greatly exceed the random uncertainties, highlighting the importance of using multiple stellar models when analyzing stellar populations. Assuming a single-sloped power-law MF, we find that AM 4 and Pal 13 have spectral indices α = +0.68 ± 0.34 and α = –1.67 ± 0.25 (where a Salpeter MF has α = +1.35), respectively. Comparing our derived slopes with literature measurements of cluster integrated magnitude (M{sub V} ) and MF slope indicates that AM 4 is an outlier. Its MF slope is substantially steeper than clusters of comparable luminosity, while Pal 13 has an MF in line with the general trend. We discuss both primordial and dynamical origins for the unusual MF slope of AM 4 and tentatively favor the dynamical scenario. However, MF slopes of more low luminosity clusters are needed to verify this hypothesis.« less
  • We present an optical/NIR imaging survey of the face-on spiral galaxy M83, using data from the Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3). Seven fields are used to cover a large fraction of the inner disk, with observations in nine broadband and narrowband filters. In conjunction with a deep Chandra survey and other new radio and optical ground-based work, these data enable a broad range of science projects to be pursued. We provide an overview of the WFC3 data and processing and then delve into one topic, the population of young supernova remnants (SNRs). We used a search methodmore » targeted toward soft X-ray sources to identify 26 new SNRs. Many compact emission nebulae detected in [Fe II] 1.644 μm align with known remnants and this diagnostic has also been used to identify many new remnants, some of which are hard to find with optical images. We include 37 previously identified SNRs that the data reveal to be <0.''5 in angular size and thus are difficult to characterize from ground-based data. The emission line ratios seen in most of these objects are consistent with shocks in dense interstellar material rather than showing evidence of ejecta. We suggest that the overall high elemental abundances in combination with high interstellar medium pressures in M83 are responsible for this result. Future papers will expand on different aspects of the these data including a more comprehensive analysis of the overall SNR population.« less