Astronomy and Astrophysics, volume 511, A23-23 (2010/2-2)
An HST/WFPC2 survey of bright young clusters in M 31. IV. Age and mass estimates.
PERINA S., COHEN J.G., BARMBY P., BEASLEY M.A., BELLAZZINI M., BRODIE J.P., FEDERICI L., FUSI PECCI F., GALLETI S., HODGE P.W., HUCHRA J.P., KISSLER-PATIG M., PUZIA T.H. and STRADER J.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present the main results of an imaging survey of possible young massive clusters (YMC) in M31 performed with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) on the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), with the aim of estimating their age and their mass. We obtained shallow (to B∼25) photometry of individual stars in 19 clusters (of the 20 targets of the survey). We present the images and color magnitude diagrams (CMDs) of all of our targets. Point spread function fitting photometry of individual stars was obtained for all the WFPC2 images of the target clusters, and the completeness of the final samples was estimated using extensive sets of artificial stars experiments. The reddening, age, and metallicity of the clusters were estimated by comparing the observed CMDs and luminosity functions (LFs) with theoretical models. Stellar masses were estimated by comparison with theoretical models in the log(Age) vs. absolute integrated magnitude plane, using ages estimated from our CMDs and integrated J, H, K magnitudes from 2MASS-6X. Nineteen of the twenty surveyed candidates were confirmed to be real star clusters, while one turned out to be a bright star. Three of the clusters were found not to be good YMC candidates from newly available integrated spectroscopy and were in fact found to be old from their CMD. Of the remaining sixteen clusters, fourteen have ages between 25Myr and 280Myr, two have older ages than 500Myr (lower limits). By including ten other YMC with HST photometry from the literature, we assembled a sample of 25 clusters younger than 1 Gyr, with mass ranging from 0.6x104M☉ to 6x104M☉, with an average of ∼3x104M☉. Our estimates of ages and masses well agree with recent independent studies based on integrated spectra. The clusters considered here are confirmed to have masses significantly higher than Galactic open clusters (OC) in the same age range. Our analysis indicates that YMCs are relatively common in all the largest star-forming galaxies of the Local Group, while the lack of known YMC older than 20Myr in the Milky Way may stem from selection effects.
galaxies: star clusters - galaxies: individual: M31 - supergiants - stars: evolution
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