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Stellar Clusters in M83: Formation, evolution, disruption and the influence of environment

Bastian, N, Adamo, A, Gieles, M, Villa, ES, Lamers, HJGLM, Larsen, SS, Smith, LJ, Konstantopoulos, IS and Zackrisson, E (2011) Stellar Clusters in M83: Formation, evolution, disruption and the influence of environment Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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Abstract

We study the stellar cluster population in two adjacent fields in the nearby, face-on spiral galaxy, M83, using WFC3/HST imaging. The clusters are selected through visual inspection to be centrally concentrated, symmetric, and resolved on the images, which allows us to differentiate between clusters and likely unbound associations. We compare our sample with previous studies and show that the differences between the catalogues are largely due to the inclusion of large numbers of diffuse associations within previous catalogues. The luminosity function of the clusters is well approximated by a power-law with index, -2, over most of the observed range, however a steepening is seen at M_V = -9.3 and -8.8 in the inner and outer fields, respectively. Additionally, we show that the cluster population is inconsistent with a pure power-law mass distribution, but instead exhibits a truncation at the high mass end. If described as a Schechter function, the characteristic mass is 1.6 and 0.5 * 10^5 Msun, for the inner and outer fields, respectively, in agreement with previous estimates of other cluster populations in spiral galaxies. Comparing the predictions of the mass independent disruption (MID) and mass dependent disruption (MDD) scenarios with the observed distributions, we find that both models can accurately fit the data. However, for the MID case, the fraction of clusters destroyed (or mass lost) per decade in age is dependent on the environment, hence, the age/mass distributions of clusters are not universal. In the MDD case, the disruption timescale scales with galactocentric distance (being longer in the outer regions of the galaxy) in agreement with analytic and numerical predictions. Finally, we discuss the implications of our results on other extragalactic surveys, focussing on the fraction of stars that form in clusters and the need (or lack thereof) for infant mortality.

Item Type: Article
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Bastian, NUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Adamo, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Gieles, Mm.gieles@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Villa, ESUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Lamers, HJGLMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Larsen, SSUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Smith, LJUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Konstantopoulos, ISUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Zackrisson, EUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 27 September 2011
Identification Number : https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.19909.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/836287

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