Joint analysis of near-infrared properties and surface brightness fluctuations of Large Magellanic Cloud star clusters.
Abstract (from CDS):
Surface brightness fluctuations (SBFs) have been proved to be a very powerful technique to determine the distance and characterize the stellar content in extragalactic systems. Nevertheless, before facing the problem of stellar content in distant galaxies, we need to calibrate the method onto nearby well known systems. In this paper we analyze the properties at the J and Ks bands of a sample of 19 star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud, for which accurate near-infrared (NIR) resolved star photometry and integrated photometry are available. For the same sample, we derive the SBF measurements in the J and Ksbands. We use the multipurpose stellar population code SPoT (Stellar POpulations Tools) to simulate the color-magnitude diagram, stellar counts, integrated magnitudes, colors, and SBFs of each cluster. The present procedure allows us to estimate the age and metallicity of the clusters in a consistent way, and provides a new calibration of the empirical s-parameter. We take advantage of the high sensitivity of NIR SBFs to thermally pulsing asymptotic (TP-AGB) stars to test different mass-loss rates affecting the evolution of such stars. We argue that NIR-SBFs can contribute to the disentangling of the observable properties of TP-AGB stars, especially in galaxies, where a large number of these stars are present.
galaxies: star clusters - galaxies: stellar content - Magellanic Clouds - stars: AGB and post-AGB - stars: carbon - stars: mass loss