Astrophys. J., 751, 122 (2012/June-1)
Age and mass for 920 Large Magellanic Cloud clusters derived from 100 million Monte Carlo simulations.
POPESCU B., HANSON M.M. and ELMEGREEN B.G.
Abstract (from CDS):
We present new age and mass estimates for 920 stellar clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) based on previously published broadband photometry and the stellar cluster analysis package, MASSCLEANage. Expressed in the generic fitting formula, d 2 N/dMdt∝M α t β, the distribution of observed clusters is described by α = -1.5 to -1.6 and β = -2.1 to -2.2. For 288 of these clusters, ages have recently been determined based on stellar photometric color-magnitude diagrams, allowing us to gauge the confidence of our ages. The results look very promising, opening up the possibility that this sample of 920 clusters, with reliable and consistent age, mass, and photometric measures, might be used to constrain important characteristics about the stellar cluster population in the LMC. We also investigate a traditional age determination method that uses a χ2 minimization routine to fit observed cluster colors to standard infinite-mass limit simple stellar population models. This reveals serious defects in the derived cluster age distribution using this method. The traditional χ2 minimization method, due to the variation of U, B, V, R colors, will always produce an overdensity of younger and older clusters, with an underdensity of clusters in the log (age/yr) = [7.0, 7.5] range. Finally, we present a unique simulation aimed at illustrating and constraining the fading limit in observed cluster distributions that includes the complex effects of stochastic variations in the observed properties of stellar clusters.
galaxies: clusters: general - methods: analytical - open clusters and associations: general
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<Available at CDS (J/ApJ/751/122): table1.dat table2.dat>
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