Astron. J., 123, 1411-1432 (2002/March-0)
NGC 4314. IV. Photometry of star clusters with the Hubble space telescope: history of star formation in the vicinity of a nuclear ring.
BENEDICT G.F., HOWELL D.A., JORGENSEN I., KENNEY J.D.P. and SMITH B.J.
Abstract (from CDS):
Using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFPC2 images, we have obtained U, B, V, I, and Hα photometry for 76 star clusters in the nuclear star-forming ring of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 4314. These clusters are likely associated with an inner inner Lindblad resonance (IILR). The blue colors and Hα emission for most of these clusters imply very young ages of 1-15 Myr. Age estimates based on several reddening-free parameters indicate that the present epoch of star formation has lasted at least 30 Myr. By estimating the masses of stars in the clusters and comparing with the Hα luminosity, we conclude that a significant fraction of ongoing star formation in the nuclear ring of NGC 4314 occurs in clusters. The cluster masses identify these as young open clusters, not young globular clusters. Farther out in the galaxy, just exterior to the ring of young stars, previous ground-based observations revealed two symmetric stellar spiral arms that may be associated with an outer inner Lindblad resonance (OILR). With our HST data, we have revealed part of this structure and its colors in more detail. The spiral arm colors are consistent with stellar ages between 40 and 200 Myr. The age difference between the inner ring of young stars (IILR) and the larger oval-like feature containing the blue arms (OILR) supports an interpretation of the morphology of the nuclear region of NGC 4314 that requires a reservoir of gas that becomes more compact over time. We speculate that as the gas distribution becomes more centrally concentrated, it interacts with these two resonances. Each resonance triggers star formation, resulting in two distinct epochs of star formation.
Galaxies: Individual: NGC Number: NGC 4314 - Galaxies: Star Clusters - Galaxies: Stellar Content
VizieR on-line data:
<Available at CDS (J/AJ/123/1411): table2.dat table4.dat table5.dat>
Table 2: [BHJ2002] NRC NN (Nos 1-76).
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