Journal Article

Seven young star clusters in the inner region of the Small Magellanic Cloud

Andrés E. Piatti, Doug Geisler, Ata Sarajedini, Carme Gallart and Marina Wischnjewsky

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 389, issue 1, pages 429-440
Published in print September 2008 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online August 2008 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI:
Seven young star clusters in the inner region of the Small Magellanic Cloud

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We present CCD photometry in the Washington system C and T1 passbands down to T1∼ 22 in the fields of L35, L45, L49, L50, L62, L63 and L85, seven poorly studied star clusters in the inner region of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We measured T1 magnitudes and CT1 colours for a total of 114 826 stars distributed throughout cluster areas of 13.7 × 13.7 arcmin2 each. Cluster radii were estimated from star counts distributed throughout the entire observed fields. The seven clusters are generally characterized by a relatively small angular size and by a high field star contamination. We performed an in-depth analysis of the field star contamination of the colour–magnitude diagrams (CMDs), and statistically cleaned the cluster CMDs. Based on the best fits of isochrones computed by the Padova group to the (T1, CT1) CMDs, we derive ages for the sample, assuming Z= 0.004, finding ages between 25 Myr and 1.2 Gyr. We then examined different relationships between positions in the SMC, age and metallicity of a larger sample of clusters including our previous work whose ages and metallicities are on the same scale used in this paper. We confirm previous results in the sense that the further a cluster is from the centre of the galaxy, the older and more metal poor it is, with some dispersion; although clusters associated with the Magellanic Bridge clearly do not obey the general trend. The number of clusters within ∼ 2° of the SMC centre appears to have increased substantially after ∼2.5 Gyr ago, hinting at a burst.

Keywords: techniques: photometric; galaxies: individual: SMC; Magellanic Clouds; galaxies: star clusters

Journal Article.  8079 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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