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|Surface Brightness Profiles for a Sample of LMC, SMC, and Fornax Galaxy Globular Clusters|
We use Hubble Space Telescope archival images to measure central surfacebrightness profiles of globular clusters around satellite galaxies ofthe Milky Way. We report results for 21 clusters around the LMC, fivearound the SMC, and four around the Fornax dwarf galaxy. The profileswere obtained using a recently developed technique based on measuringintegrated light, which is tested on an extensive simulated data set.Our results show that for 70% of the sample, the central photometricpoints of our profiles are brighter than previous measurements usingstar counts with deviations as large as 2 mag arcsec-2. About40% of the objects have central profiles deviating from a flat centralcore, with central logarithmic slopes continuously distributed between-0.2 and -1.2. These results are compared with those found for a sampleof Galactic clusters using the same method. We confirm the knowncorrelation in which younger clusters tend to have smaller core radii,and we find that they also have brighter central surface brightnessvalues. This seems to indicate that globular clusters might be bornrelatively concentrated, and that a profile with an extended flat coremight not be the ideal choice for initial profiles in theoreticalmodels.
|Properties of RR Lyrae stars in the inner regions of the Large Magellanic Cloud. II. The extended sample|
Context: .All galaxies that have been adequately examined so far haveshown an extended stellar halo. Aims: .To search for such a haloin the LMC we have obtained low-resolution spectra for 100 LMC RR Lyraestars, of which 87 are in the field and 13 in the clusters NGC 1835 andNGC 2019. Methods: .We measured radial velocities for 87 LMC RRLyrae stars, and metallicities for 78 RR Lyrae stars, nearly triplingthe previous sample. These targets are located in 10 fields covering awide range of distances, out to 2.5 degrees from the center of the LMC. Results: .Our main result is that the mean velocity dispersionfor the LMC RR Lyrae stars is σRV = 50 ± 2 kms-1. This quantity does not appear to vary with distance fromthe LMC center. The metallicity shows a Gaussian distribution, with mean[Fe/H] = -1.53 ± 0.02 dex, and dispersion σ_[Fe/H] =0.20± 0.02 dex in the Harris metallicity scale, confirming thatthey represent a very homogeneous metal-poor population. There is nodependence between the kinematics and metallicity of the field RR Lyraestar population. Conclusions: .Using good quality low-resolutionspectra from FORS1, FORS2 and GEMINI-GMOS we have found that field RRLyrae stars in the LMC show a large velocity dispersion and that thisindicate the presence of old and metal-poor stellar halo. All theevidence so far for the halo, however, is from the spectroscopy of theinner LMC regions, similar to the inner flattened halo in our Galaxy.Further study is necessary to confirm this important result.
|A Database of 2MASS Near-Infrared Colors of Magellanic Cloud Star Clusters|
The (rest-frame) near-IR domain contains important stellar populationdiagnostics and is often used to estimate masses of galaxies at low, aswell as high, redshifts. However, many stellar population models arestill relatively poorly calibrated in this part of the spectrum. Toallow an improvement of this calibration we present a new database ofintegrated near-IR JHKs magnitudes for 75 star clusters inthe Magellanic Clouds, using the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Themajority of the clusters in our sample have robust age and metallicityestimates from color-magnitude diagrams available in the literature, andpopulate a range of ages from 10 Myr to 15 Gyr and a range in [Fe/H]from -2.17 to +0.01 dex. A comparison with matched star clusters in the2MASS Extended Source Catalog (XSC) reveals that the XSC only provides agood fit to the unresolved component of the cluster stellar population.We also compare our results with the often-cited single-channel JHKphotometry of Persson and coworkers and find significant differences,especially for their 30" diameter apertures, up to ~2.5 mag in the Kband, more than 1 mag in J-K, and up to 0.5 mag in H-K. Usingsimulations to center apertures based on maximum light throughput (asperformed by Persson et al.), we show that these differences can beattributed to near-IR-bright cluster stars (e.g., carbon stars) locatedaway from the true center of the star clusters. The wide age andmetallicity coverage of our integrated JHKs photometry sampleconstitute a fundamental data set for testing population synthesis modelpredictions and for direct comparison with near-IR observations ofdistant stellar populations.
|RR Lyrae stars in the inner Large Magellanic Cloud: halo-like location with a disk-like distribution|
Aims. The distribution of RR Lyrae stars (RRLS) in the inner LargeMagellanic Cloud (LMC), and the structure of the halo of the LMCdelineated by these stars are studied here. Methods.RRLS identified bythe OGLE II survey are used to estimate their number densitydistribution in the bar region of the LMC. To find their location, Iestimated the scale-height of their distribution in the LMC usingextinction corrected average magnitudes of ab type stars. Results.Thedensity is found to vary differently along and across the bar of theLMC, and the difference is found to be statistically significant. Thedensity distribution is found to be elongated like the LMC bar and theposition angle (PA) of the elongation is estimated to be 112.5 °± 15.3 °. This value of PA is found to be same as the PAmajof the bar, within the errors, estimated using red clump stars andgiants. The ellipticity of their density distribution is estimated to be~0.5, very similar to the ellipticity of the bar, estimated from giants.The above results show that majority of the population of RRLS in thecentral region of the LMC are found to have the signature of the bar.This result could mean that most of these stars are located in the disk,considering the bar as a disk feature. On the other hand, theirscale-height was found to be 3.0 ± 0.9 kpc. This indicates thatRRLS are located in the halo and not in the disk. Conclusions.Thus thesestars in the inner LMC have halo-like location and a disk-like densitydistribution. I discuss some possible formation scenarios for thispuzzling combination.
|Resolved Massive Star Clusters in the Milky Way and Its Satellites: Brightness Profiles and a Catalog of Fundamental Parameters|
We present a database of structural and dynamical properties for 153spatially resolved star clusters in the Milky Way, the Large and SmallMagellanic Clouds, and the Fornax dwarf spheroidal. This databasecomplements and extends others in the literature, such as those ofHarris and Mackey & Gilmore. Our cluster sample comprises 50 ``youngmassive clusters'' in the LMC and SMC, and 103 old globular clustersbetween the four galaxies. The parameters we list include central andhalf-light-averaged surface brightnesses and mass densities; core andeffective radii; central potentials, concentration parameters, and tidalradii; predicted central velocity dispersions and escape velocities;total luminosities, masses, and binding energies; central phase-spacedensities; half-mass relaxation times; and ``κ-space'' parameters.We use publicly available population-synthesis models to computestellar-population properties (intrinsic B-V colors, reddenings, andV-band mass-to-light ratios) for the same 153 clusters plus another 63globulars in the Milky Way. We also take velocity-dispersionmeasurements from the literature for a subset of 57 (mostly old)clusters to derive dynamical mass-to-light ratios for them, showing thatthese compare very well to the population-synthesis predictions. Thecombined data set is intended to serve as the basis for futureinvestigations of structural correlations and the fundamental plane ofmassive star clusters, including especially comparisons between thesystemic properties of young and old clusters.The structural and dynamical parameters are derived from fitting threedifferent models-the modified isothermal sphere of King; an alternatemodified isothermal sphere based on the ad hoc stellar distributionfunction of Wilson; and asymptotic power-law models withconstant-density cores-to the surface-brightness profile of eachcluster. Surface-brightness data for the LMC, SMC, and Fornax clustersare based in large part on the work of Mackey & Gilmore, but includesignificant supplementary data culled from the literature and importantcorrections to Mackey & Gilmore's V-band magnitude scale. Theprofiles of Galactic globular clusters are taken from Trager et al. Weaddress the question of which model fits each cluster best, finding inthe majority of cases that the Wilson models-which are spatially moreextended than King models but still include a finite, ``tidal'' cutoffin density-fit clusters of any age, in any galaxy, as well as or betterthan King models. Untruncated, asymptotic power laws often fit about aswell as Wilson models but can be significantly worse. We argue that theextended halos known to characterize many Magellanic Cloud clusters maybe examples of the generic envelope structure of self-gravitating starclusters, not just transient features associated strictly with youngage.
|Comparing the properties of local globular cluster systems: implications for the formation of the Galactic halo|
We investigate the hypothesis that some fraction of the globularclusters presently observed in the Galactic halo formed in externaldwarf galaxies. This is done by means of a detailed comparison betweenthe `old halo', `young halo' and `bulge/disc' subsystems defined by Zinnand the globular clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud, SmallMagellanic Cloud, and Fornax and Sagittarius dwarf spheroidal galaxies.We first use high-quality photometry from Hubble Space Telescope imagesto derive a complete set of uniform measurements of horizontal branch(HB) morphology in the external clusters. We also compile structural andmetallicity measurements for these objects and update the data base ofsuch measurements for the Galactic globular clusters, including newcalculations of HB morphology for 11 objects. Using these data togetherwith recent measurements of globular cluster kinematics and ages weexamine the characteristics of the three Galactic cluster subsystems.Each is quite distinct in terms of their spatial and age distributions,age-metallicity relationships, and typical orbital parameters, althoughwe observe some old halo clusters with ages and orbits more similar tothose of young halo objects. In addition, almost all of the Galacticglobular clusters with large core radii fall into the young halosubsystem, while the old halo and bulge/disc ensembles are characterizedby compact clusters. We demonstrate that the majority of the externalglobular clusters are essentially indistinguishable from the Galacticyoung halo objects in terms of HB morphology, but ~20-30 per cent ofexternal clusters have HB morphologies most similar to the Galactic oldhalo clusters. We further show that the external clusters have adistribution of core radii which very closely matches that for the younghalo objects. The old halo distribution of core radii can be very wellrepresented by a composite distribution formed from ~83-85 per cent ofobjects with structures typical of bulge/disc clusters, and ~15-17 percent of objects with structures typical of external clusters. Takentogether our results fully support the accretion hypothesis. We concludethat all 30 young halo clusters and 15-17 per cent of the old haloclusters (10-12 objects) are of external origin. Based on cluster numbercounts, we estimate that the Galaxy may have experienced approximatelyseven merger events with cluster-bearing dwarf-spheroidal-type galaxiesduring its lifetime, building up ~45-50 per cent of the mass of theGalactic stellar halo. Finally, we identify a number of old halo objectswhich have properties characteristic of accreted clusters. Several ofthe clusters associated with the recently proposed dwarf galaxy in CanisMajor fall into this category.
|Globular clusters and the formation of the outer Galactic halo|
Globular clusters in the outer halo (Rgc > 15kpc) arefound to be systematically fainter than those at smaller Galactocentricdistances. Within the outer halo the compact clusters with half-lightradii Rh < 10pc are only found at Rgc <40kpc, while on the other hand the larger clusters with Rh> 10pc are encountered at all Galactocentric distances. Among thecompact clusters with Rh < 10pc that have Rgc> 15kpc, there are two objects with surprisingly high metallicities.One of these is Terzan 7, which is a companion of the Sagittarius dwarf.The other is Palomar 1. The data on these two objects suggests that theymight have had similar evolutionary histories. It is also noted that,with one exception, luminous globular clusters in the outer halo are allcompact whereas faint ones may have any radius. This also holds forglobular clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Small Magellanic Cloudand Fornax dwarf. The lone exception is the large luminous globular NGC2419. Possibly this object is not a normal globular cluster, but thestripped core of a former dwarf spheroidal. In this respect it mayresemble ω Centauri.
|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.
|Photometry of Magellanic Cloud clusters with the Advanced Camera for Surveys - I. The old Large Magellanic Cloud clusters NGC 1928, 1939 and Reticulum|
We present the results of photometric measurements from images of theLarge Magellanic Cloud (LMC) globular clusters NGC 1928, 1939 andReticulum taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble SpaceTelescope. Exposures through the F555W and F814W filters result inhigh-accuracy colour-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) for these three clusters.This is the first time that CMDs for NGC 1928 and 1939 have beenpublished. All three clusters possess CMDs with features indicating themto be >10 Gyr old, including main-sequence turn-offs at V~ 23 andwell-populated horizontal branches (HBs). We use the CMDs to obtainmetallicity and reddening estimates for each cluster. NGC 1939 is ametal-poor cluster, with [Fe/H]=-2.10 +/- 0.19, while NGC 1928 issignificantly more metal rich, with [Fe/H]=-1.27 +/- 0.14. The abundanceof Reticulum is intermediate between the two, with [Fe/H]=-1.66 +/-0.12- a measurement which matches well with previous estimates. Allthree clusters are moderately reddened, with values ranging from E(V-I)= 0.07 +/- 0.02 for Reticulum and E(V-I) = 0.08 +/- 0.02 for NGC 1928,to E(V-I) = 0.16 +/- 0.03 for NGC 1939. After correcting the CMDs forextinction we estimate the HB morphology of each cluster. NGC 1928 and1939 possess HBs consisting almost exclusively of stars to the blue ofthe instability strip, with NGC 1928 in addition showing evidence for anextended blue HB. In contrast, Reticulum has an intermediate HBmorphology, with stars across the instability strip. Using a variety ofdating techniques we show that these three clusters are coeval with eachother and the oldest Galactic and LMC globular clusters, to within ~2Gyr. The census of known old LMC globular clusters therefore now numbers15 plus the unique, younger cluster ESO121-SC03. The NGC 1939 fieldcontains another cluster in the line of sight, NGC 1938. A CMD for thisobject shows it to be less than ~400 Myr old, and it is thereforeunlikely to be physically associated with NGC 1939.
|Image-Subtraction Photometry of the Globular Cluster M3: Identification of New Double-Mode RR Lyrae Stars|
We have applied the image subtraction method of Alard and Lupton to theextensive M3 data set previously analyzed by Corwin and Carney usingDAOPHOT and ALLSTAR. This new analysis has produced light curves andperiods for 15 variables not found in the previous study but alreadyknown to be variables, and it has also resulted in improved periods forseveral other variables. The additional variables recovered with theimage subtraction analysis are in the very central region of M3, wherecrowding is severe and the photometry was not of sufficient quality thatit could be put on the standard system. The present study brings to 222the total number of RR Lyrae variables in Corwin and Carney's M3 dataset for which light curves and periods are available. Among them we haveidentified three new candidate double-mode pulsating variables (V13,V200, and V251), reported here for the first time. This brings to eightthe total number of double-mode RR Lyrae (RRd's) identified in M3. Ofthe newly discovered RRd's V13 is unusual in that it has the fundamentalas the dominant pulsation mode. M3 is unique among the globular clustersin having RRd variables with a dominant fundamental mode. Two of the newcandidate RRd's (V13 and V200) have period ratios as low as 0.738-0.739.They lie well separated from all previously known double-mode variablestars in the Petersen diagram in positions implying a large spread inmass and/or, less likely, in heavy element mass fraction, among the M3horizontal-branch (HB) stars. We explore mass transfer and heliumenhancement as possible explanations for the apparent spread in HBmasses. We also note that the masses derived from the double-modeanalyses now favor little mass loss on the red giant branch. We findthat V200 has changed its dominant pulsation mode from fundamental tofirst overtone, while V251 has changed its dominant mode from firstovertone to fundamental in the interval 1992 to 1993. Together withM3-V166 this is the first time that double-mode variables are observedto switch their dominant pulsation modes while remaining RRd's. Thephenomenon is found to occur in a 1 yr time span, thus suggesting thatthese stars are undergoing a rapid evolutionary phase and that bothredward and blueward evolution may take place among the HB stars in theOosterhoff type I cluster M3. The unusual behavior of the M3 RRd's isdiscussed in detail and compared with that of the double-mode RR Lyraeidentified so far in globular clusters and in the field of our and otherLocal Group galaxies. We find a lack of correlation between the presenceof RRd variables and any of the cluster structural parameters.
|Cluster Mass Functions in the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds: Fading and Size-of-Sample Effects|
The properties of ~939 star clusters in the Large and Small MagellanicClouds were determined from ground-based CCD images in UBVR passbands.The areal coverage was extensive, corresponding to 11.0 kpc2in the LMC and 8.3 kpc2 in the SMC. After corrections forreddening, the colors and magnitudes of the clusters were converted toages and masses, and the resulting mass distributions were searched forthe effects of fading, evaporation, and size-of-sample bias. The datashow a clear signature of cluster fading below the detection threshold.The initial cluster mass function (ICMF) was determined by fitting themass and age distributions with cluster population models. These modelssuggest a new method to determine the ICMF that is nearly independent offading or disruption and is based on the slope of a correlation betweenage and the maximum cluster mass in equally spaced intervals of log age.For a nearly uniform star formation rate, this correlation has a slopeequal to 1/(α-1) for an ICMF of dn(M)/dM~M-α. Wedetermine that α is between 2 and 2.4 for the LMC and SMC usingthis method plus another method in which models are fitted to the massdistribution integrated over age and to the age distribution integratedover mass. The maximum mass method also suggests that the clusterformation rate in the LMC age gap between 3 and 13 Gyr is about a factorof 10 below that in the period from 0.1 to 1 Gyr. The oldest clusterscorrespond in age and mass to halo globular clusters in the Milky Way.They do not fit the trends for lower mass clusters but appear to be aseparate population that either had a very high star formation rate andbecame depleted by evaporation or formed with only high masses.
|Stellar Crowding and the Science Case for Extremely Large Telescopes|
We present a study of the effect of crowding on stellar photometry. Wedevelop an analytical model through which we are able to predict theerror in magnitude and color for a given star for any combination oftelescope resolution, stellar luminosity function, background surfacebrightness, and distance. We test our predictions with Monte Carlosimulations of the Large Magellanic Cloud globular cluster NGC 1835, forresolutions corresponding to a seeing-limited telescope, the HubbleSpace Telescope, and an adaptive optics (AO) corrected 30 m (nearlydiffraction-limited) telescope. Our analytically predicted magnitudeerrors agree with the simulation results to within ~20%. The analyticalmodel also predicts that errors in color are strongly affected by thecorrelation of crowding-induced photometric errors between bands, as isseen in the simulations. Using additional Monte Carlo simulations andour analytical crowding model, we investigate the photometric accuracythat 30 m and 100 m extremely large telescopes (ELTs) will be able toachieve at distances extending to the Virgo Cluster. We argue that forstellar-populations work, ELTs quickly become crowding-limited,suggesting that low-Strehl AO systems may be sufficient for this type ofscience.
|The Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. Catalog of RR Lyr Stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud|
We present the catalog of RR Lyr stars discovered in a 4.5 squaredegrees area in the central parts of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC).Presented sample contains 7612 objects, including 5455 fundamental modepulsators (RRab), 1655 first-overtone (RRc), 272 second-overtone (RRe)and 230 double-mode RR Lyr stars (RRd). Additionally we attach alist ofseveral dozen other short-period pulsating variables. The catalog datainclude astrometry, periods, BVI photometry, amplitudes, and parametersof the Fourier decomposition of the I-band light curve of each object.We present density map of RR Lyr stars in the observed fields whichshows that the variables are strongly concentrated toward the LMCcenter. The modal values of the period distribution for RRab, RRc andRRe stars are 0.573, 0.339 and 0.276 days, respectively. Theperiod-luminosity diagrams for BVI magnitudes and for extinctioninsensitive index W_I are constructed. We provide the log P-I, log P-Vand log P-W_I relations for RRab, RRc and RRe stars. The mean observedV-band magnitudes of RR Lyr stars in the LMC are 19.36 mag and 19.31 magfor ab and c types, respectively, while the extinction free values are18.91 mag and 18.89 mag.We found a large number of RR Lyr stars pulsating in two modes closelyspaced in the power spectrum. These stars are believed to exhibitnon-radial pulsating modes. We discovered three stars whichsimultaneously reveal RR Lyr-type and eclipsing-type variability. If anyof these objects were an eclipsing binary system containing RR Lyr star,then for the first time the direct determination of the mass of RR Lyrvariable would be possible.We provide a list of six LMC star clusters which contain RR Lyr stars.The richest cluster, NGC 1835, hosts 84 RR Lyr variables. The perioddistribution of these stars suggests that NGC1835 shares features ofOosterhoff type I and type II groups.All presented data, including individual BVI observations and findingcharts are available from the OGLE Internet archive.
|Distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud: The RR Lyrae Stars|
New photometry and spectroscopy for more than a hundred RR Lyrae starsin two fields located close to the bar of the Large Magellanic Cloud(LMC) are used to derive new accurate estimates of the averagemagnitude, the local reddening, the luminosity-metallicity relation, andthe distance to the LMC. The average apparent luminosity of the RRLyraes with complete V and B light curves is=19.412+/-0.019 (σ=0.153),=19.807+/-0.022 (σ=0.172) in our field A (62 stars)and =19.320+/-0.023 (σ=0.159),=19.680+/-0.024 (σ=0.163) in our field B (46 stars).The average V apparent luminosity of the clump stars in the same areasis 0.108 and 0.029 mag brighter than the RR Lyrae level(=19.304+/-0.002 and 19.291+/-0.003, in fieldA: 6728 stars, and B: 3851 stars, respectively). Metallicities fromlow-resolution spectra obtained with the Very Large Telescope have beenderived for 101 RR Lyrae stars, finding an average value of[Fe/H]=-1.48+/-0.03 (σ=0.29, on the Harris metallicity scale). Anestimate of the reddening within the two fields was obtained (1) fromthe Sturch method applied to the fundamental-mode pulsators (RRab's)with known metal abundance and (2) from the colors of the edges of theinstability strip defined by the full sample of RR Lyrae variable stars.We obtained E(B-V)=0.116+/-0.017 and 0.086+/-0.017 mag in fields A andB, respectively, with a clear-cut indication of a 0.03 mag differentialreddening between the two fields. We find that reddening in field A is0.028 mag smaller than derived by OGLE-II in the same area. On average,the new reddenings are also 0.035 mag larger than derived from Cepheidswith projected distances within 2° from the centers of our fields.The new metallicities were combined with the apparent averageV0 luminosities to determine the slope of theluminosity-metallicity relation for the RR Lyrae stars. We derivedΔMV(RR)/Δ [Fe/H]=0.214+/-0.047, with no clearevidence for the change in slope at [Fe/H]=-1.5, as recently suggestedby evolutionary/pulsation and horizontal-branch models.The dereddened apparent average luminosity of the RR Lyraes defined bythe present photometry is 0=19.064+/-0.064 at[Fe/H]=-1.5. When coupled with the absolute magnitude derived from theBaade-Wesselink and the statistical parallaxes methods(MV(RR)=0.68+/-0.15 and 0.76+/-0.13 mag at [Fe/H]=-1.5), bothmethods known to favor the short distance scale, this value leads todistance moduli for the LMC of μLMC=18.38+/-0.16 andμLMC=18.30+/-0.14, respectively. If we use instead theabsolute magnitude from the new main-sequence fitting of Galacticglobular clusters from Gratton et al. [MV(RR)=0.61+/-0.07 magat [Fe/H]=-1.5], we derive μLMC=18.45+/-0.09.The average I apparent luminosity of the clump stars derived by thepresent photometry is =18.319+/-0.002 and18.307+/-0.003, in field A (σ=0.190, 6728 stars) and B(σ=0.184, 3851 stars), respectively. These values, once correctedfor our new reddening estimates, lead to0=18.12+/-0.06 mag and move the clump distancemodulus to the LMC to 18.42+/-0.07 and 18.45+/-0.07 when Udalski orPopowski metallicity-I luminosity relations for the clump stars areadopted.All these values are only 1 σ shorter than provided by thePopulation I distance indicators and make it possible to reconcile theshort- and long-distance scale on a common value for the distancemodulus of the LMC of μLMC=18.515+/-0.085 mag.Based on observations collected at the European Southern Observatory,proposals 62.N-0802, 66.A-0485, and 68.D-0466.
|Surface brightness profiles and structural parameters for 53 rich stellar clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud|
We have compiled a pseudo-snapshot data set of two-colour observationsfrom the Hubble Space Telescope archive for a sample of 53 rich LMCclusters with ages of 106-1010 yr. We presentsurface brightness profiles for the entire sample, and derive structuralparameters for each cluster, including core radii, and luminosity andmass estimates. Because we expect the results presented here to form thebasis for several further projects, we describe in detail the datareduction and surface brightness profile construction processes, andcompare our results with those of previous ground-based studies. Thesurface brightness profiles show a large amount of detail, includingirregularities in the profiles of young clusters (such as bumps, dipsand sharp shoulders), and evidence for both double clusters andpost-core-collapse (PCC) clusters. In particular, we find power-lawprofiles in the inner regions of several candidate PCC clusters, withslopes of approximately -0.7, but showing considerable variation. Weestimate that 20 +/- 7 per cent of the old cluster population of theLarge Magellanic Cloud (LMC) has entered PCC evolution, a similarfraction to that for the Galactic globular cluster system. In addition,we examine the profile of R136 in detail and show that it is probablynot a PCC cluster. We also observe a trend in core radius with age thathas been discovered and discussed in several previous publications bydifferent authors. Our diagram has better resolution, however, andappears to show a bifurcation at several hundred Myr. We argue that thisobserved relationship reflects true physical evolution in LMC clusters,with some experiencing small-scale core expansion owing to mass loss,and others large-scale expansion owing to some unidentifiedcharacteristic or physical process.
|Stellar Crowding and the Science Case for Extremely Large Telescopes|
We present a study of the effect of crowding on stellar photometry. Wedevelop an analytical model through which we are able to predict theerror in magnitude and color for a given star for any telescoperesolution, luminosity function, surface brightness, and distance of thestellar background. We test our predictions with Monte Carlo simulationsof the LMC globular cluster NGC 1835, for resolutions corresponding to aseeing-limited 1.5-m telescope, the HST, and an AO-corrected 30-m (neardiffraction limited) telescope. Our analytically predicted magnitudeerrors agree with the simulation results to within ~20%. The analyticalmodel also predicts that errors in color are strongly affected by thecorrelation of crowding--induced photometric errors between bands as isseen in the simulations. Using additional Monte Carlo simulations andour analytical crowding model, we investigate the photometric accuracywhich 30-m and 100-m ELTs will be able to achieve at distances extendingto the Virgo cluster. We argue that for stellar populations work, ELTswill rapidly become crowding-limited, which suggests that low--Strehl AOsystems might be sufficient for this type of science. Based on researchcarried out at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) and theGemini Observatory. NOAO is operated by the Association of Universitiesfor Research in Astronomy Inc. (AURA), under a cooperative agreementwith the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Gemini Observatory isoperated by AURA under a cooperative agreement with the NSF on behalf ofthe Gemini partnership: the NSF (United States), the Particle Physicsand Astronomy Research Council (United Kingdom), the National ResearchCouncil (Canada), CONICYT (Chile), the Australian Research Council(Australia), CNPq (Brazil), and CONICET (Argentina).
|Testing stellar population models with star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud|
We present high signal-to-noise ratio integrated spectra of 24 starclusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), obtained using the FLAIRspectrograph at the UK Schmidt telescope. The spectra have been placedon to the Lick/IDS system in order to test the calibration of SimpleStellar Population (SSP) models. We have compared the SSP-predictedmetallicities of the clusters with those from the literature,predominantly taken from the Ca-triplet spectroscopy of Olszewski et al.(1991). We find that there is good agreement between the metallicitiesin the range -2.10 <=[Fe/H]<= 0. However, the Mg2 index(and to a lesser degree Mg b) systematically predict highermetallicities (up to +0.5 dex higher) than . Among thepossible explanations for this are that the LMC clusters possess[α/Fe] > 0. Metallicities are presented for eleven LMC clusterswhich have no previous measurements. We compare SSP ages for theclusters, derived from the Hβ, Hγ and Hδ Lick/IDSindices, with the available literature data, and find good agreement forthe vast majority. This includes six old globular clusters in oursample, which have ages consistent with their HST colour-magnitudediagram (CMD) ages and/or integrated colours. However, two globularclusters, NGC 1754 and NGC 2005, identified as old (~15 Gyr) on thebasis of HST CMDs, have Hβ line-strengths which lead ages that aretoo low (~8 and ~6 Gyr respectively). These findings are inconsistentwith their CMD-derived values at the 3σ level. Comparison betweenthe horizontal branch morphology and the Balmer line strengths of theseclusters suggests that the presence of blue horizontal branch stars hasincreased their Balmer indices by up to ~1.0 Å. We conclude thatthe Lick/IDS indices, used in conjunction with contemporary SSP models,are able to reproduce the ages and metallicities of the LMC clustersreassuringly well. The required extrapolations of the fitting functionsand stellar libraries in the models to lower ages and low metallicitiesdo not lead to serious systematic errors. However, owing to thesignificant contribution of horizontal branch stars to Balmer indices,SSP model ages derived for metal-poor globular clusters are ambiguouswithout a priori knowledge of horizontal branch morphology.
|The Dwarf Spheroidal Companions to M31: Variable Stars in Andromeda VI|
We have surveyed Andromeda VI, a dwarf spheroidal galaxy companion toM31, for variable stars by using F450W and F555W observations obtainedwith the Hubble Space Telescope. A total of 118 variables were found,including 111 RR Lyrae stars, six anomalous Cepheids, and one variablethat we were unable to classify. We find that the Andromeda VI anomalousCepheids have properties consistent with those of anomalous Cepheids inother dwarf spheroidal galaxies. We revise the existingperiod-luminosity relations for these variables. Further, using theseand other available data, we show that there is no clear differencebetween fundamental and first-overtone anomalous Cepheids in aperiod-amplitude diagram at shorter periods, unlike the RR Lyrae stars.For the Andromeda VI RR Lyrae stars, we find that they lie close to theOosterhoff type I Galactic globular clusters in the period-amplitudediagram, although the mean period of the RRab stars,=0.588 days, is slightly longer than that of thetypical Oosterhoff type I cluster. The mean V magnitude of the RR Lyraestars in Andromeda VI is 25.29+/-0.03, resulting in a distance 815+/-25kpc on the Lee, Demarque, & Zinn distance scale. This is consistentwith the distance derived from the I magnitude of the tip of the redgiant branch. Similarly, the properties of the RR Lyrae stars indicate amean abundance for Andromeda VI that is consistent with that derivedfrom the mean red giant branch color. Based on observations with theNASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope ScienceInstitute, which is operated by the Association of Universities forResearch in Astronomy, Inc. (AURA), under NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
|Constraining the LMC cluster age gap: Washington photometry of NGC 2155 and SL 896 (LW 480)|
We carried out Washington system photometry of the intermediate-ageLarge Magellanic Cloud (LMC) star clusters NGC2155 and SL896 (LW480). Wederive ages and metallicities from the T1 versusC-T1 colour-magnitude diagrams (CMDs). For the first time anage has been obtained for SL896, 2.3+/-0.5Gyr. For NGC2155 we derive3.6+/-0.7Gyr. The two clusters basically define the lower age limit ofthe LMC age gap. In particular, NGC2155 is confirmed as the oldestintermediate-age LMC cluster so far studied. The derived metallicitiesare [Fe/H]=-0.9+/-0.2 and -0.6+/-0.2 for NGC2155 and SL896,respectively. We also studied the CMDs of the surrounding fields, whichhave a dominant turn-off comparable to that of the clusters themselves,and similar metallicity, showing that one is dealing with anintermediate-age disc where clusters and field stars have the sameorigin. We inserted the present clusters in the LMC and Small MagellanicCloud (SMC) age-metallicity relations, using a set of homogeneousdeterminations with the same method as in our previous studies, nowtotalling 15 LMC clusters and four SMC clusters, together with someadditional values from the literature. The LMC and SMC age-metallicityrelations appear to be remarkably complementary, since the SMC wasactively star-forming during the LMC quiescent age gap epoch.
|Mass Determinations of Star Clusters|
Mass determinations are difficult to obtain and still frequentlycharacterised by deceptively large uncertainties. We review below thevarious mass estimators used for star clusters of all ages andluminosities. We highlight a few recent results related to (i) verymassive old star clusters, (ii) the differences and similaritiesbetween star clusters and cores of dwarf elliptical galaxies, and(iii) the possible strong biases on mass determination induced bytidal effects.
|Ages and metallicities of five intermediate-age star clusters projected towards the Small Magellanic Cloud|
Colour-magnitude diagrams are presented for the first time for L32, L38,K28 (L43), K44 (L68) and L116, which are clusters projected on to theouter parts of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The photometry wascarried out in the Washington system C and T1 filters,allowing the determination of ages by means of the magnitude differencebetween the red giant clump and the main-sequence turn-off, andmetallicities from the red giant branch locus. The clusters have ages inthe range 2-6Gyr, and metallicities in the range-1.65<[Fe/H]<-1.10, increasing the sample of intermediate-ageclusters in the SMC. L116, the outermost cluster projected on to theSMC, is a foreground cluster, and somewhat closer to us than the LargeMagellanic Cloud. Our results, combined with those for other clusters inthe literature, show epochs of sudden chemical enrichment in theage-metallicity plane, which favour a bursting star formation history asopposed to a continuous one for the SMC.
|Cepheid mass-luminosity relations from the Magellanic Clouds|
The OGLE data base is used in conjunction with Kurucz atmosphere modelsto generate sets of period, effective temperature and luminosity forfundamental and overtone Magellanic Cloud Cepheids. The Floridapulsation code (with linear turbulent convection) is then used tocompute masses for these stars, assuming an average composition of(X=0.716, Z=0.010) for the LMC and of (X=0.726, Z=0.004) for the SMC.The average M-L relation for the fundamental Cepheids matches closelythat for the first overtone Cepheids for each Magellanic Cloud. Neitherthe SMC nor the LMC average Log M-Log L relations are straight, but havea noticeable curvature. In view of the uncertainties in distance andreddening we have adopted three different choices for these quantities.The results based on the ``long'' distance scale to the clouds give abetter agreement between theory and and observations than the ``short''one. All the current evolutionary tracks predict systematically largermasses for given luminosities than our observationally derived ones,especially at the high end. Moreover, our study confirms that theevolutionary tracks of the low mass stars in SMC are not in agreementwith the observations as they do not extend sufficiently blueward and donot penetrate deep enough into the instability strip, or not at all. Theinference of masses directly from the observational database yields anovel and strong constraint on evolutionary calculations.
|The Ages of Globular Clusters|
We examine the luminosity levels of the main-sequence turnoffs,MTOv, and horizontal branches, Mv(HB),in 16 globular clusters. An entirely new approach of inferring theluminosity levels by utilizing high-amplitude δ Scuti variables(HADS) is introduced. When the MTOv values arecompared with theoretical values inferred from models, we find all 16clusters (metal-strong to metal-poor) are coeval with an average age of~11.3 Gyr. A considerable scatter of Mv(HB) values ofclusters at similar [Fe/H] values is found. A trend for clusters withblue horizontal branches to have brighter Mv(HB) thanclusters with blue-red horizontal branches is suggested by the data. TheMv(HB) values appear to depend on another or other parametersin addition to the [Fe/H] values. In spite of this problem, we derive anequation relating Mv(HB) values of globular clusters to their[Fe/H] values. We also derive an equation relating theMTOv values of clusters to their [Fe/H] values.Both of these equations can be utilized to find cluster distances. Thedistance modulus of the LMC is found to be 18.66 from the VTOvalues of three LMC globular clusters; RR Lyrae stars in seven globularclusters yield 18.61, and RR Lyrae stars in the LMC bar yield 18.64.
|The elliptical galaxy formerly known as the Local Group: merging the globular cluster systems|
Prompted by a new catalogue of M31 globular clusters, we have collectedtogether individual metallicity values for globular clusters in theLocal Group. Although we briefly describe the globular cluster systemsof the individual Local Group galaxies, the main thrust of our paper isto examine the collective properties. In this way we are simulating thedissipationless merger of the Local Group, into presumably an ellipticalgalaxy. Such a merger is dominated by the Milky Way and M31, whichappear to be fairly typical examples of globular cluster systems ofspiral galaxies. The Local Group `Elliptical' has about 700 +/- 125globular clusters, with a luminosity function resembling the `universal'one. The metallicity distribution has peaks at [Fe/H] ~ -1.55 and -0.64with a metal-poor to metal-rich ratio of 2.5:1. The specific frequencyof the Local Group Elliptical is initially about 1 but rises to about 3,when the young stellar populations fade and the galaxy resembles an oldelliptical. The metallicity distribution and stellar populationcorrected specific frequency are similar to that of some known earlytype galaxies. Based on our results, we briefly speculate on the originof globular cluster systems in galaxies.
|The MACHO Project 9 Million Star Color-Magnitude Diagram of the Large Magellanic Cloud|
We present a 9 million star color-magnitude diagram (9M CMD) of theLarge Magellanic Cloud (LMC) bar. The 9M CMD reveals a complexsuperposition of different-age and -metallicity stellar populations,with important stellar evolutionary phases occurring over 3 orders ofmagnitude in number density. First, we count the nonvariable red andblue supergiants and the associated Cepheid variables and measure thestellar effective temperatures defining the Cepheid instability strip.Lifetime predictions of stellar evolution theory are tested, withimplications for the origin of low-luminosity Cepheids. The highlyevolved asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars in the 9M CMD have a bimodaldistribution in brightness, which we interpret as discrete oldpopulations (>~1 Gyr). The faint AGB sequence may be metal-poor andvery old. Comparing the mean properties of giant branch andhorizontal-branch (HB) stars in the 9M CMD with those of clusters, weidentify NGC 411 and M3 as templates for the admixture of old stellarpopulations in the bar. However, there are several indications that theold and metal-poor field population has a red HB morphology: the RRLyrae variables lie preferentially on the red edge of the instabilitystrip, the AGB bump is very red, and the ratio of AGB bump stars to RRLyrae variables is quite large. If the HB second parameter is age, theold and metal-poor field population in the bar likely formed after theoldest LMC clusters. Lifetime predictions of stellar evolution theorylead us to associate a significant fraction of the ~1 million red HBclump giants in the 9M CMD with the same old and metal-poor populationproducing the RR Lyrae stars and the AGB bump. In this case, comparedwith the age-dependent luminosity predictions of stellar evolutiontheory, the red HB clump is too bright relative to the RR Lyrae starsand AGB bump. Last, we show that the surface density profile of RR Lyraevariables is fitted by an exponential, favoring a disklike rather than aspheroidal distribution. We conclude that the age of the LMC disk isprobably similar to the age of the Galactic disk.
|A catalogue of helium abundance indicators from globular cluster photometry|
We present a survey of helium abundance indicators derived from acomprehensive study of globular cluster photometry in the literature.For each of the three indicators used, we conduct a thorough erroranalysis, and identify systematic errors in the computationalprocedures. For the population ratio RNHBNRGB, wefind that there is no evidence of a trend with metallicity, althoughthere appears to be real scatter in the values derived. Although thisindicator is the one best able to provide useful absolute heliumabundances, the mean value is Y~0.20, indicating the probable presenceof additional systematic error. For the magnitude difference from thehorizontal branch to the main sequence Δ and the RR Lyraemass-luminosity exponent A, it is only possible to determine relativehelium abundances reliably. This is due to continuing uncertainties inthe absolute metallicity scale for Δ, and uncertainty in the RRLyrae temperature scale for A. Both indicators imply that the heliumabundance is approximately constant as a function of [Fe/H]. Accordingto the A indicator, both Oosterhoff I and II group clusters haveconstant values independent of [Fe/H] and horizontal branch type. Inaddition, the two groups have slopes dlog/d[Fe/H]that are consistent with each other, but significantly smaller than theslope for the combined sample.
|The Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. Cepheids in Star Clusters from the Magellanic Clouds|
We present Cepheids located in the close neighborhood of star clustersfrom the Magellanic Clouds. 204 and 132 such stars were found in the LMCand SMC, respectively. The lists of objects were constructed based oncatalogs of Cepheids and star clusters, recently published by theOGLE-II collaboration. Location of selected Cepheids on the skyindicates that many of them are very likely cluster members. Photometricdata of Cepheids and clusters are available from the OGLE Internetarchive.
|The Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. Catalog of Star Clusters from the Large Magellanic Cloud|
We present the catalog of star clusters found in the area of about 5.8square degree in the central regions of the Large Magellanic Cloud. Itcontains data for 745 clusters. 126 of them are new objects. For eachcluster equatorial coordinates, radius, approximate number of membersand cross-identification are provided. Photometric data for all clusterspresented in the catalog and Atlas consisting of finding charts andcolor-magnitude diagrams are available electronically from the OGLEInternet archive.
|The Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. Cepheids in the Magellanic Clouds. IV. Catalog of Cepheids from the Large Magellanic Cloud|
We present the Catalog of Cepheids from the LMC. The Catalog contains1333 objects detected in the 4.5 square degree area of central parts ofthe LMC. About 3.4*10^5 BVI measurements of these stars were collectedduring the OGLE-II microlensing survey. The Catalog data include period,BVI photometry, astrometry, and R21, phi21parameters of the Fourier decomposition of I-band light curve. The vastmajority of objects from the Catalog are the classical Cepheidspulsating in the fundamental or first overtone mode. The remainingobjects include Population II Cepheids and red giants withpulsation-like light curves. Tests of completeness performed inoverlapping parts of adjacent fields indicate that completeness of theCatalog is very high: >96%. Statistics and distributions of basicparameters of Cepheids are also presented. Finally, we show the lightcurves of three eclipsing systems containing Cepheid detected amongobjects of the Catalog. All presented data, including individual BVIobservations are available from the OGLE Internet archive.
|The absolute magnitudes of RR Lyrae stars from BT HIPPARCOS parallaxes parallaxes|
Using the method of ``reduced parallaxes'' for the Halo RR Lyrae starsin the hipparcos catalogue we derive a zero point of 0.77 +/- 0.26 magfor an assumed slope of 0.18 in the M_V-[Fe/H] relation. This is 0.28magnitude brighter than the value Fernley et al. (1998a) derived byemploying the method of statistical parallax for the identical sampleand using the same slope. We point out that a similar difference existsbetween the ``reduced parallaxes'' method and the statistical parallaxmethod for the Cepheids in the hipparcos catalogue. We also determinethe zero point for the M_K-log P0 relation, and obtain avalue of -1.16 +/- 0.27 mag (for a slope of -2.33). The distance modulito the hipparcos RR Lyrae stars derived from the two relations agreewell. The derived distance scale is in good agreement with the resultsfrom the Main Sequence fitting distances of Galactic globular clustersand with the results of theoretical Horizontal Branch models, andimplies a distance modulus to the LMC of 18.61 +/- 0.28 mag. Based ondata from the ESA Hipparcos astrometry satellite.}
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