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Evolution of stellar structure in the Small Magellanic Cloud

Gieles, M, Bastian, N and Ercolano, B (2008) Evolution of stellar structure in the Small Magellanic Cloud Mon.Not.Roy.Astron.Soc.391:L93-L97,2008.

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Abstract

The projected distribution of stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) from the Magellanic Clouds Photometric Survey is analysed. Stars of different ages are selected via criteria based on V magnitude and V-I colour, and the degree of `grouping' as a function of age is studied. We quantify the degree of structure using the two-point correlation function and a method based on the Minimum Spanning Tree and find that the overall structure of the SMC is evolving from a high degree of sub-structure at young ages (~10 Myr) to a smooth radial density profile. This transition is gradual and at ~75 Myr the distribution is statistically indistinguishable from the background SMC distribution. This time-scale corresponds to approximately the dynamical crossing time of stars in the SMC. The spatial positions of the star clusters in the SMC show a similar evolution of spatial distribution with age. Our analysis suggests that stars form with a high degree of (fractal) sub-structure, probably imprinted by the turbulent nature of the gas from which they form, which is erased by random motions in the galactic potential on a time-scale of a galactic crossing time.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Gieles, Mm.gieles@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Bastian, NUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ercolano, BUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 15 September 2008
Identification Number : 10.1111/j.1745-3933.2008.00563.x
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 12:40
Last Modified : 17 May 2017 15:05
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/836258

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