Evolved super star clusters in M82

R. de Grijs, R. W. O'Connell, J. S. Gallagher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


We present high-resolution optical and near-infrared HST observations of two adjacent regions in the fossil starburst region in M82, B1 and B2. Age estimates dare the cluster population in the fossil starburst between similar to 2 x 10(8) and similar to 10 x 10(9) years, assuming solar metallicity. The star cluster population in B2 is more heavily affected by internal extinction than that in B1. Although our cluster size estimates indicate that they are gravitationally bound, and not unlike Galactic globular clusters, their luminosity distribution is significantly fainter than both super star cluster luminosity functions (LFs) and the Galactic globular cluster LF. This makes them unlikely proto-globular clusters, since their luminosities will fade further before they are of similar age as the Galactic globular cluster population. If the compact H alpha -bright sources in M82 B are Type II supernova remnants (SNRs), they set an upper limit to the end of the starburst in region "B2," about 500 pc from the galaxy's core, of similar to 50 Myr. Region "B1," about 1000 pc from the core, lacks good SNR candidates and is evidently somewhat older. This suggests star formation in the galaxy has propagated inward toward the present-day intense starburst core.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 33rd ESLAB Symposium on star formation from the small to the large scale
Subtitle of host publication2-5 November 1999, ESTEC, Noordwijk, the Netherlands
EditorsF Favata, A Kaas, A Wilson
Place of PublicationNoordwijk
PublisherESA Publications Division
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9290927801, 9789290927808
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes
Event33rd ESLAB Symposium on Star Formation from the Small to the Large Scale - Noordwijk, Netherlands
Duration: 2 Nov 19995 Nov 1999

Publication series

NameESA Special Publications
PublisherESA Publications Division
ISSN (Print)0379-6566


Conference33rd ESLAB Symposium on Star Formation from the Small to the Large Scale


  • galaxies : evolution
  • individual (M82)
  • photometry
  • starburst
  • star clusters
  • stellar content


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