Star cluster disruption in the starburst galaxy messier 82

Shuo Li, Richard De Grijs, Peter Anders, Chengyuan Li

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Abstract

Using high-resolution, multiple-passband Hubble Space Telescope images spanning the entire optical/near-infrared wavelength range, we obtained a statistically complete U-band-selected sample of 846 extended star clusters across the disk of the nearby starburst galaxy M82. Based on a careful analysis of the clusters' spectral energy distributions, we determined their galaxy-wide age and mass distributions. The M82 clusters exhibit three clear peaks in their age distribution, thus defining relatively young, log (t yr-1) ≤ 7.5, intermediate-age, log (t yr-1) ∈ [7.5, 8.5], and old samples, log (t yr-1) ≥ 8.5. Comparison of the completeness-corrected mass distributions offers a firm handle on the galaxy's star cluster disruption history. The most massive star clusters in the young and old samples are (almost) all concentrated in the most densely populated central region, while the intermediate-age sample's most massive clusters are more spatially dispersed, which may reflect the distribution of the highest-density gas throughout the galaxy's evolutionary history, combined with the solid-body nature of the galaxy's central region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalAstrophysical Journal, Supplement Series
Volume216
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes

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Bibliographical note

Copyright 2015 The American Astronomical Society. First published in The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series, 216(1), 6, 2015. The original publication is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/0067-0049/216/1/6, published by IOP Publishing. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

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