Present-day Mass Function of Six Small Magellanic Cloud Intermediate-age and Old Star Clusters

Type Journal Article
Names Katharina Glatt, Eva K. Grebel, Katrin Jordi, John S. Gallagher, Gary Da Costa, Gisella Clementini, Monica Tosi, Daniel Harbeck, Antonella Nota, Elena Sabbi, Marco Sirianni
Publication The Astronomical Journal
Volume 142
Issue 2
Pages 36
Date August 1, 2011
Library Catalog NASA ADS
Abstract We determined the present-day mass functions (PDMFs) of the five intermediate-age star clusters Lindsay 1, Kron 3, NGC 339, NGC 416, and Lindsay 38 and the old star cluster NGC 121 in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) based on observations with the Hubble Space Telescope Advanced Camera for Surveys. The global PDMFs are well matched by Salpeter-like power laws from their main-sequence turnoffs to ~0.6 M sun with a power-law exponent α ranging from 1.51 ± 0.11 (Lindsay 1) to 2.29 ± 0.15 (NGC 339). We derive total stellar masses of ~105 M sun, except for Lindsay 38, whose mass is of the order of ~104 M sun. Differences between the PDMFs most likely reflect the varying stages of dynamical evolution of the clusters. These SMC clusters do not follow the α versus concentration parameter c correlation as found for Galactic globular clusters of similar mass. This might be an age effect or due to their location in a galaxy where bulge and disk crossings do not play a role. No correlation is found between α and the cluster core and tidal radii (rc and rt , respectively), the half-light radii rh , age, central surface brightness, metallicity, and galactocentric radius r gc. All six clusters mass-segregated to different degrees. The two clusters Lindsay 1 and Kron 3 barely show signs for mass segregation, but have low-mass star deficient global PDMFs and might be the remnants of star clusters whose outer parts were stripped. A trend exists between the degree of mass segregation and the ratio age/relaxation time t r, h , which indicates the stage of dynamical evolution for a cluster. Our data thus suggest that the SMC clusters in the present sample had a range of initial densities and presumably different amounts of mass loss that led to different rates of dynamical evolution. The clusters' positions in the r h, m /rt versus r 0/r h, m plane imply that all of the clusters are tidally filled. Our SMC clusters with projected distances larger than 3 kpc from the SMC center should have Jacobi radii significantly larger than their observed King tidal radii. The clusters also have higher mean densities than the estimated central density of the SMC. It is possible that these clusters formed in a denser overall environment of the younger SMC, or that the cluster structures were unusually strongly influenced by encounters with giant molecular clouds. Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program GO-10396.
Tags MAGELLANIC CLOUDS, galaxies: star clusters: general
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