Astron. J., 132, 781-800 (2006/August-0)
A database of 2MASS near-infrared colors of Magellanic cloud star clusters.
PESSEV P.M., GOUDFROOIJ P., PUZIA T.H. and CHANDAR R.
Abstract (from CDS):
The (rest-frame) near-IR domain contains important stellar population diagnostics and is often used to estimate masses of galaxies at low, as well as high, redshifts. However, many stellar population models are still relatively poorly calibrated in this part of the spectrum. To allow an improvement of this calibration we present a new database of integrated near-IR JHK_s_ magnitudes for 75 star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds, using the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). The majority of the clusters in our sample have robust age and metallicity estimates from color-magnitude diagrams available in the literature, and populate 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 the 2MASS Extended Source Catalog (XSC) reveals that the XSC only provides a good fit to the unresolved component of the cluster stellar population. We also compare our results with the often-cited single-channel JHK photometry of Persson and coworkers and find significant differences, especially for their 30" diameter apertures, up to ∼2.5 mag in the K band, more than 1 mag in J-K, and up to 0.5 mag in H-K. Using simulations to center apertures based on maximum light throughput (as performed by Persson et al.), we show that these differences can be attributed to near-IR-bright cluster stars (e.g., carbon stars) located away from the true center of the star clusters. The wide age and metallicity coverage of our integrated JHKs photometry sample constitute a fundamental data set for testing population synthesis model predictions and for direct comparison with near-IR observations of distant stellar populations.
Galaxies: Star Clusters - Galaxies: Stellar Content - Infrared: General - Infrared: Stars - Galaxies: Magellanic Clouds - Techniques: Photometric
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<Available at CDS (J/AJ/132/781): table1.dat table2.dat refs.dat table3.dat table4.dat>
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