SIMBAD references

2008MNRAS.391L..93G - Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 391, L93-L97 (2008/November-3)

Evolution of stellar structure in the Small Magellanic Cloud.


Abstract (from CDS):

The projected distribution of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) from the Magellanic Clouds Photometric Survey is analysed. Stars of different ages are selected via criteria based on V magnitude and V - I colour, and the degree of `grouping' as a function of age is studied. We quantify the degree of structure using the two-point correlation function and a method based on the Minimum Spanning Tree and find that the overall structure of the SMC is evolving from a high degree of substructure at young ages (∼10Myr) to a smooth radial density profile. This transition is gradual and at ∼75Myr the distribution is statistically indistinguishable from the background SMC distribution. This time-scale corresponds to approximately the dynamical crossing time of stars in the SMC. The spatial positions of the star clusters in the SMC show a similar evolution of spatial distribution with age. Our analysis suggests that stars form with a high degree of (fractal) substructure, probably imprinted by the turbulent nature of the gas from which they form, which is erased by random motions in the galactic potential on a time-scale of a galactic crossing time.

Abstract Copyright: © 2008 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2008 RAS

Journal keyword(s): Magellanic Clouds - galaxies: star clusters - galaxies: structure

Simbad objects: 6

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