The star cluster formation history of the LMC

Baumgardt, H., Parmentier, G., Anders, P. and Grebel, E. K. (2013) The star cluster formation history of the LMC. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 430 1: 676-685. doi:10.1093/mnras/sts667


Author Baumgardt, H.
Parmentier, G.
Anders, P.
Grebel, E. K.
Title The star cluster formation history of the LMC
Journal name Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0035-8711
1365-2966
Publication date 2013-03
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/mnras/sts667
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 430
Issue 1
Start page 676
End page 685
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted abstract
The Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) is one of the nearest galaxies to us and is one of only few galaxies where the star formation history can be determined from studying resolved stellar populations. We have compiled a new catalogue of ages, luminosities and masses of LMC star clusters and used it to determine the age distribution and dissolution rate of LMC star clusters. We find that the frequency of massive clusters with masses M > 5000 M is almost constant between 10 and 200 Myr, showing that the influence of residual gas expulsion is limited to the first 10 Myr of cluster evolution or clusters less massive than 5000 M. Comparing the cluster frequency in that interval with the absolute star formation rate, we find that about 15 per cent of all stars in the LMC were formed in long-lived star clusters that survive for more than 10 Myr. We also find that the mass function of LMC clusters younger than 109 Gyr can be fitted by a power-law mass function N(m) ∼ m-α with slope α = 2.3, while older clusters follow a significantly shallower slope and interpret that this is a sign of either incompleteness or the ongoing dissolution of low-mass clusters. Our data show that for ages older than 200 Myr, about 90 per cent of all clusters are lost per dex of lifetime. The implied cluster dissolution rate is significantly faster than that based on analytic estimates and N-body simulations. Our cluster age data finally show evidence for a burst in cluster formation about 109 yr ago, but little evidence for bursts at other ages.
Keyword Galaxies : kinematics and dynamics
Magellanic Clouds
Star Cluster
Large Magellanic Cloud
Initial Mass Function
Gravitational Lensing Experiment
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Mathematics and Physics
Official 2014 Collection
 
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