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2007ApJ...664..322R - Astrophys. J., 664, 322-331 (2007/July-3)

The star-forming region NGC 346 in the Small Magellanic Cloud with Hubble Space Telescope ACS observations. II. Photometric study of the intermediate-age star cluster BS 90.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present the results of our investigation of the intermediate-age star cluster BS 90, located in the vicinity of the H II region N66 in the SMC, observed with HST ACS. The high-resolution data provide a unique opportunity for a very detailed photometric study performed on one of the rare intermediate-age rich SMC clusters. The complete set of observations is centered on the association NGC 346 and contains almost 100,000 stars down to V≃28 mag. In this study we focus on the northern part of the region, which covers almost the whole stellar content of BS 90. We construct its stellar surface density profile and derive structural parameters. Isochrone fits on the CMD of the cluster results in an age of about 4.5 Gyr. The luminosity function is constructed and the present-day mass function of BS 90 has been obtained using the mass-luminosity relation, derived from the isochrone models. We found a slope between -1.30 and -0.95, comparable to or somewhat shallower than a typical Salpeter IMF. Examination of the radial dependence of the mass function shows a steeper slope at larger radial distances, indicating mass segregation in the cluster. The derived half-mass relaxation time of 0.95 Gyr suggests that the cluster is mass segregated due to its dynamical evolution. From the isochrone model fits we derive a metallicity for BS 90 of [Fe/H]=-0.72, which adds an important point to the age-metallicity relation of the SMC. We discuss our findings on this relation in comparison to other SMC clusters.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): galaxies: clusters: individual ([BS95] 90) - Stars: Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram - Galaxies: Magellanic Clouds - Stars: Evolution

Simbad objects: 36

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