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Title: The luminosity function of star clusters in 20 star-forming galaxies based on Hubble legacy archive photometry

Luminosity functions (LFs) have been determined for star cluster populations in 20 nearby (4-30 Mpc), star-forming galaxies based on Advanced Camera for Surveys source lists generated by the Hubble Legacy Archive (HLA). These cluster catalogs provide one of the largest sets of uniform, automatically generated cluster candidates available in the literature at present. Comparisons are made with other recently generated cluster catalogs demonstrating that the HLA-generated catalogs are of similar quality, but in general do not go as deep. A typical cluster LF can be approximated by a power law, dN/dL∝L {sup α}, with an average value for α of –2.37 and rms scatter = 0.18 when using the F814W ('I') band. A comparison of fitting results based on methods that use binned and unbinned data shows good agreement, although there may be a systematic tendency for the unbinned (maximum likelihood) method to give slightly more negative values of α for galaxies with steeper LFs. We find that galaxies with high rates of star formation (or equivalently, with the brightest or largest numbers of clusters) have a slight tendency to have shallower values of α. In particular, the Antennae galaxy (NGC 4038/39), a merging system with a relatively high starmore » formation rate (SFR), has the second flattest LF in the sample. A tentative correlation may also be present between Hubble type and values of α, in the sense that later type galaxies (i.e., Sd and Sm) appear to have flatter LFs. Hence, while there do appear to be some weak correlations, the relative similarity in the values of α for a large number of star-forming galaxies suggests that, to first order, the LFs are fairly universal. We examine the bright end of the LFs and find evidence for a downturn, although it only pertains to about 1% of the clusters. Our uniform database results in a small scatter (≈0.4 to 0.5 mag) in the correlation between the magnitude of the brightest cluster (M {sub brightest}) and log of the number of clusters brighter than M{sub I} = –9 (log N). We also examine the magnitude of the brightest cluster versus log SFR for a sample including both dwarf galaxies and ULIRGs. This shows that the correlation extends over roughly six orders of magnitude but with scatter that is larger than for our spiral sample, probably because of the high levels of extinction in many of the LIRGs.« less
Authors:
; ; ; ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218 (United States)
  2. Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606 (United States)
  3. Department of Astrophysics/IMAPP, Radboud University Nijmegen, P. O. Box 9010, 6500 GL Nijmegen (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22340313
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Astronomical Journal (New York, N.Y. Online); Journal Volume: 147; Journal Issue: 4; Other Information: Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
79 ASTROPHYSICS, COSMOLOGY AND ASTRONOMY; ANTENNAS; APPROXIMATIONS; CAMERAS; CATALOGS; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS; CORRELATIONS; GALAXIES; INTERACTIONS; LUMINOSITY; MAXIMUM-LIKELIHOOD FIT; PHOTOMETRY; STAR CLUSTERS; STARS