Star cluster 'infant mortality' in the Small Magellanic Cloud (Redivivus)

Richard de Grijs*, Simon P. Goodwin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The early evolution of star clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) has been the subject of significant recent controversy, particularly regarding the importance and length of the earliest, largely mass-independent disruption phase (referred to as 'infant mortality'). Here, we take a fresh approach to the problem, using an independent, homogeneous data set of UBVR imaging observations, from which we obtain the SMC's cluster age and mass distributions in a self-consistent manner. We conclude that the (optically selected) SMC star cluster population has undergone at most ∼30 per cent (1σ) infant mortality between the age range from about (3-10) Myr, to that of approximately (40-160) Myr. We rule out a 90 per cent cluster mortality rate per decade of age (for the full age range up to 109 yr) at a >6σ level. We independently affirm this scenario based on the age distribution of the SMC cluster sample.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1000-1006
Number of pages7
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume383
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • stellar dynamics
  • globular clusters: general
  • open clusters and associations: general
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • galaxies: star clusters

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