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|Luminosities and mass-loss rates of carbon stars in the Magellanic Clouds|
Dust radiative transfer models are presented for 60 carbon stars in theMagellanic Clouds (MCs) for which 5-35 μm Spitzer infraredspectrograph (IRS) spectra and quasi-simultaneous ground-based JHKLphotometry are available. From the modelling, the luminosity andmass-loss rate are derived (under the assumption of a fixed expansionvelocity and dust-to-gas ratio), and the ratio of silicon carbide (SiC)to amorphous carbon (AMC) dust is also derived. This ratio is smallerthan observed in Galactic carbon stars, as has been noted before. Lightcurves for 36 objects can be retrieved from the massive compact haloobject (MACHO) and optical gravitational lensing experiment (OGLE) databases, and periods can be derived for all but two of these. Includingdata from the literature, periods are available for 53 stars.There is significant scatter in a diagram where the mass-loss rates areplotted against luminosity, and this is partly due to the fact that theluminosities are derived from single-epoch data. The mass-loss rates forthe MC objects roughly scatter around the mean relation for GalacticC-stars.The situation is better defined when the mass-loss rate is plottedagainst pulsation period. For a given period, most of the LargeMagellanic Cloud (LMC) and Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) stars havemass-loss rates that are in agreement with that observed in Galacticcarbon stars (under the assumption that these objects have an expansionvelocity and dust-to-gas ratio typical of the mean observed in Galacticcarbon Miras).For some SMC sources only, the IRS spectrum at longer wavelengths fallsclearly below the model flux predicted by a constant mass-loss rate. Analternative model with a substantial increase of the mass-loss rate toits present-day value over a time-scale of a few tens of years is ableto explain the spectral energy distribution (SED) and IRS spectra ofthese sources. However, the probability to have two such cases in asample of 60 is small, and makes this not a likely explanation (andtestable by re-observing these objects near the end of the lifetime ofSpitzer). Alternative explanations are (ad hoc) changes to the dustemissivity at longer wavelengths, and/or deviations from sphericalsymmetry.
|Ages and Metallicities of Extragalactic Globular Clusters from Spectral and Photometric Fits of Stellar Population Synthesis Models|
Spectra of galaxies contain an enormous amount of information about therelative mixture of ages and metallicities of constituent stars. Wepresent a comprehensive study designed to extract the maximuminformation from spectra of data quality typical in large galaxysurveys. These techniques are not intended for detailed stellarpopulation studies that use high-quality spectra. We test techniques ona sample of globular clusters, which should consist of single stellarpopulations and provide good test cases, using the Bruzual-Charlothigh-resolution stellar population synthesis models to simultaneouslyestimate the ages and metallicities of 101 globular clusters in M31 andthe Magellanic Clouds. The clusters cover a wide range of ages andmetallicities, 4 Myr
|The TP-AGB phase. Lifetimes from C and M star counts in Magellanic Cloud clusters|
Using available data for C and M giants with M_bol<-3.6 in MagellanicCloud clusters, we derive limits to the lifetimes for the correspondingevolutionary phases, as a function of stellar mass. The C-star phase isfound to have a duration between 2 and 3 Myr for stars in the mass rangefrom ~1.5 to 2.8 M_ȯ. There is also an indication that the peak ofC-star lifetime shifts to lower masses (from slightly above to slightlybelow 2 Mȯ) as we move from LMC to SMC metallicities.The M-giant lifetimes also peak at ~2 Mȯ in the LMC,with a maximum value of about 4 Myr, whereas in the SMC their lifetimesappear much shorter, but, actually, they are poorly constrained by thedata. These numbers constitute useful constraints to theoretical modelsof the TP-AGB phase. We show that several models in the literatureunderestimate the duration of the C-star phase at LMC metallicities.
|A Spitzer mid-infrared spectral survey of mass-losing carbon stars in the Large Magellanic Cloud|
We present a Spitzer Space Telescope spectroscopic survey of mass-losingcarbon stars (and one oxygen-rich star) in the Large Magellanic Cloud(LMC). The stars represent the superwind phase on the asymptotic giantbranch (AGB), which forms a major source of dust for the interstellarmedium (ISM) in galaxies. Bolometric magnitudes indicate progenitormasses of 1.5-2.5Msolar. The spectra cover the wavelengthrange 5-38μm. They show varying combinations of dust continuum, dustemission features (SiC, MgS) and molecular absorption bands(C2H2, HCN). A 10-μm absorption feature isattributed to C3. A weak band at 5.8μm is suggestive ofcarbonyl. The circumstellar 7.5-μm C2H2 band isfound to be stronger at lower metallicity, explained by higher C/Oratios at low metallicity. The J - K versus K - A colours, used toselect the sample, are shown to be relatively insensitive in separatingcarbon versus oxygen-rich AGB stars. The predominance of carbon starstherefore indicates that in the range 1.5-2.5Msolar, LMC AGBstars become carbon-rich before onset of the superwind. A set of fournarrow bands, dubbed the Manchester system, is used to define theinfrared continuum for dusty carbon stars. We investigate the strengthand central wavelength of the SiC and MgS dust bands as a function ofcolour and metallicity. The line-to-continuum ratio of these bands showssome indication of being lower at low metallicity. The MgS band is onlyseen at dust temperatures below 600K. Metal-poor carbon stars can formamorphous carbon dust from self-produced carbon. The formationefficiency of oxygen-rich dust depends more strongly on metallicity. Inlower-metallicity environments, the dust input into the ISM by AGB starsmay be strongly biased towards carbonaceous dust.
|A Database of 2MASS Near-Infrared Colors of Magellanic Cloud Star Clusters|
The (rest-frame) near-IR domain contains important stellar populationdiagnostics and is often used to estimate masses of galaxies at low, aswell as high, redshifts. However, many stellar population models arestill relatively poorly calibrated in this part of the spectrum. Toallow an improvement of this calibration we present a new database ofintegrated near-IR JHKs magnitudes for 75 star clusters inthe Magellanic Clouds, using the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS). Themajority of the clusters in our sample have robust age and metallicityestimates from color-magnitude diagrams available in the literature, andpopulate a range of ages from 10 Myr to 15 Gyr and a range in [Fe/H]from -2.17 to +0.01 dex. A comparison with matched star clusters in the2MASS Extended Source Catalog (XSC) reveals that the XSC only provides agood fit to the unresolved component of the cluster stellar population.We also compare our results with the often-cited single-channel JHKphotometry of Persson and coworkers and find significant differences,especially for their 30" diameter apertures, up to ~2.5 mag in the Kband, more than 1 mag in J-K, and up to 0.5 mag in H-K. Usingsimulations to center apertures based on maximum light throughput (asperformed by Persson et al.), we show that these differences can beattributed to near-IR-bright cluster stars (e.g., carbon stars) locatedaway from the true center of the star clusters. The wide age andmetallicity coverage of our integrated JHKs photometry sampleconstitute a fundamental data set for testing population synthesis modelpredictions and for direct comparison with near-IR observations ofdistant stellar populations.
|Integrated-light VRI imaging photometry of globular clusters in the Magellanic Clouds|
We present accurate integrated-light photometry in Johnson/Cousins V, Rand I for a sample of 28 globular clusters in the Magellanic Clouds. Themajority of the clusters in our sample have reliable age and metallicityestimates available in the literature. The sample encompasses agesbetween 50 Myr and 7 Gyr, and metallicities ([Fe/H]) between -1.5 and0.0 dex. The sample is dominated by clusters of ages between roughly 0.5and 2 Gyr, an age range during which the bolometric luminosity of simplestellar populations is dominated by evolved red giant branch stars andthermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) stars whosetheoretical colours are rather uncertain. The VRI colours presented inthis paper have been used to calibrate stellar population synthesismodel predictions.
|Age distribution of young clusters and field stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud|
Aims.In this paper we discuss the cluster and field star formation inthe central part of the Small Magellanic Cloud. The main goal is tostudy the correlation between young objects and their interstellarenvironment. Methods: . The ages of about 164 associations and 311clusters younger than 1 Gyr are determined using isochrone fitting. Thespatial distribution of the clusters is compared with the HI maps, withthe HI velocity dispersion field, with the location of the CO clouds andwith the distribution of young field stars. Results: .The clusterage distribution supports the idea that clusters formed in the last 1Gyr of the SMC history in a roughly continuous way with periods ofenhancements. The two super-shells 37A and 304A detected in the HIdistribution are clearly visible in the age distribution of theclusters: an enhancement in the cluster formation rate has taken placefrom the epoch of the shell formation. A tight correlation between youngclusters and the HI intensity is found. The degree of correlation isdecreasing with the age of the clusters. Clusters older than 300 Myr arelocated away from the HI peaks. Clusters and associations younger than10 Myr are related to the CO clouds in the SW region of the SMC disk. Apositive correlation between the location of the young clusters and thevelocity dispersion field of the atomic gas is derived only for theshell 304A, suggesting that the cloud-cloud collision is probably notthe most important mechanism of cluster formation. Evidence ofgravitational triggered episode due to the most recent close interactionbetween SMC and LMC is found both in the cluster andfield star distribution.
|Dust-enshrouded giants in clusters in the Magellanic Clouds|
We present the results of an investigation of post-Main Sequence massloss from stars in clusters in the Magellanic Clouds, based around animaging survey in the L'-band (3.8 μm) performed with the VLT at ESO.The data are complemented with JHKs (ESO and 2MASS) andmid-IR photometry (TIMMI2 at ESO, ISOCAM on-board ISO, and data fromIRAS and MSX). The goal is to determine the influence of initialmetallicity and initial mass on the mass loss and evolution during thelatest stages of stellar evolution. Dust-enshrouded giants areidentified by their reddened near-IR colours and thermal-IR dust excessemission. Most of these objects are Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) carbonstars in intermediate-age clusters, with progenitor masses between 1.3and ~5 M_ȯ. Red supergiants with circumstellar dust envelopes arefound in young clusters, and have progenitor masses between 13 and 20M_ȯ. Post-AGB objects (e.g., Planetary Nebulae) and massive starswith detached envelopes and/or hot central stars are found in severalclusters. We model the spectral energy distributions of the cluster IRobjects, in order to estimate their bolometric luminosities andmass-loss rates. The IR objects are the most luminous cluster objects,and have luminosities as expected for their initial mass andmetallicity. They experience mass-loss rates in the range from a few10-6 up to 10-4 M_ȯ yr-1 (ormore), with most of the spread being due to evolutionary effects andonly a weak dependence on progenitor mass and/or initial metallicity.About half of the mass lost by 1.3-3 M_ȯ stars is shed during thesuperwind phase, which lasts of order 105 yr. Objects withdetached shells are found to have experienced the highest mass-lossrates, and are therefore interpreted as post-superwind objects. We alsopropose a simple method to measure the cluster mass from L'-band images.
|Evolutionary population synthesis: models, analysis of the ingredients and application to high-z galaxies|
Evolutionary population synthesis models for a wide range ofmetallicities, ages, star formation histories, initial mass functionsand horizontal branch morphologies, including blue morphologies at highmetallicity, are computed. The model output comprises spectral energydistributions, colours, stellar M/L ratios, bolometric corrections andnear-infrared (IR) spectral line indices. The energetics of the postmain sequence evolutionary phases are evaluated with the fuelconsumption theorem. The impact on the models of the stellarevolutionary tracks (in particular with and without overshooting) isassessed. We find modest differences in synthetic broad-band colours asinduced by the use of different tracks in our code [e.g. Δ(V-K) ~0.08 mag, Δ(B-V) ~ 0.03 mag]. Noticeably, these differences aresubstantially smaller than the scatter among other models in theliterature, even when the latter adopt the same evolutionary tracks. Themodels are calibrated with globular cluster data from the Milky Way forold ages, and the Magellanic clouds plus the merger remnant galaxy NGC7252, both for young ages of ~0.1-2Gyr, in a large wavelength range fromthe U band to the K band. Particular emphasis is put on the contributionfrom the thermally pulsing asymptotic giant branch (TP-AGB) phase. Weshow that this evolutionary phase is crucial for the modelling of youngstellar populations by direct comparison with observed spectral energydistributions of Magellanic cloud clusters, which are characterized byrelatively high fluxes, both blueward and redward of the V band. We findthat the combination of the near-IR spectral indices C2 andH2O can be used to determine the metallicity of ~1 Gyrstellar populations. As an illustrative application, we re-analyse thespectral energy distributions of some of the high-z galaxies (2.4<~z<~ 2.9) observed with the Spitzer Space Telescope by Yan et al.Their high rest-frame near-IR fluxes is reproduced very well with themodels including TP-AGB stars for ages in the range ~0.6-1.5Gyr,suggesting formation redshifts for these objects around z~ 3-6.
|Integrated spectral analysis of 18 concentrated star clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud|
We present in this study flux-calibrated integrated spectra in the range(3600-6800) Å for 18 concentrated SMC clusters. Cluster reddeningvalues were estimated by interpolation between the extinction maps ofBurstein & Heiles (1982, AJ, 87, 1165) and Schlegel et al. (1998,ApJ, 500, 525). The cluster parameters were derived from the templatematching procedure by comparing the line strengths and continuumdistribution of the cluster spectra with those of template clusterspectra with known parameters and from the equivalent width (EW) method.In this case, new calibrations were used together with diagnosticdiagrams involving the sum of EWs of selected spectral lines. A verygood agreement between ages derived from both methods was found. Thefinal cluster ages obtained from the weighted average of values takenfrom the literature and the present measured ones range from 15 Mr (e.g.L 51) to 7 Gyr (K 3). Metal abundances have been derived for only 5clusters from the present sample, while metallicity values directlyaveraged from published values for other 4 clusters have been adopted.Combining the present cluster sample with 19 additional SMC clusterswhose ages and metal abundances were put onto a homogeneous scale, weanalyse the age and metallicity distributions in order to explore theSMC star formation history and its spatial extent. By considering thedistances of the clusters from the SMC centre instead of theirprojections onto the right ascension and declination axes, the presentage-position relation suggests that the SMC inner disk could have beenrelated to a cluster formation episode which reached the peak ~2.5 Gyrago. Evidence for an age gradient in the inner SMC disk is alsopresented.
|From young massive star cluster to old globular: the LV-σ0 relationship as a diagnostic tool|
We present a new analysis of the properties of the young massive starclusters (YMCs) forming profusely in intense starburst environments,which demonstrates that these objects are plausible progenitors of theold globular clusters (GCs) seen abundantly in the Local Group. Themethod is based on the tight relationship for old GCs between theirV-band luminosities, LV, and (central) velocity dispersions,σ0. We improve the significance of the relationship byincreasing the GC sample size and find that its functional form,LV/Lsolar~σ1.57+/-0.100(km s-1), is fully consistent with previous determinationsfor smaller Galactic and M31 GC samples. The tightness of therelationship for a GC sample drawn from environments as diverse as thosefound in the Local Group implies that its origin must be sought inintrinsic properties of the GC formation process itself. We evolve theluminosities of those YMCs in the local Universe which have velocitydispersion measurements to an age of 12 Gyr, adopting a variety ofinitial mass function (IMF) descriptions, and find that most YMCs willevolve to loci close to, or to slightly fainter luminosities than theimproved GC relationship. In the absence of significant externaldisturbances, this implies that these objects may potentially survive tobecome old GC-type objects over a Hubble time. The main advantage of ournew method is its simplicity. Whereas alternative methods, based ondynamical mass estimates, require one to obtain accurate size estimatesand to make further assumptions, the only observables required here arethe system's velocity dispersion and luminosity. The most importantfactor affecting the robustness of our conclusions is the adopted formof the IMF. We use the results of N-body simulations to confirm thatdynamical evolution of the clusters does not significantly alter ourconclusions about the likelihood of individual clusters surviving tolate times. Finally, we find that our youngest observed clusters areconsistent with having evolved from a relation of the form . Thisrelation may actually correspond to the origin of the GC fundamentalplane.
|The Star Clusters of the Small Magellanic Cloud: Age Distribution|
We present age measurements for 195 star clusters in the SmallMagellanic Cloud based on comparison of integrated colors measured fromthe Magellanic Clouds Photometric Survey with models of simple stellarpopulations. We find that the modeled nonuniform changes of clustercolors with age can lead to spurious age peaks in the cluster agedistribution; that the observed numbers of clusters with age t declinessmoothly as t-2.1 that for an assumed initial cluster massfunction scaling as M-2, the dependence of the clusterdisruption time on mass is proportional to M0.48; thatdespite the apparent abundance of young clusters, the dominant epoch ofcluster formation was the initial one; and that there are significantdifferences in the spatial distribution of clusters of different ages.Because of limited precision in our age measurements, we cannot addressthe question of detailed correspondence between the cluster age functionand the field star formation history. However, this sample provides aninitial guide as to which clusters to target in more detailed studies ofspecific age intervals.
|Classical Cepheid Pulsation Models. X. The Period-Age Relation|
We present new period-age (PA) and period-age-color (PAC) relations forfundamental and first-overtone classical Cepheids. Current predictionsrely on homogeneous sets of evolutionary and pulsation models covering abroad range of stellar masses and chemical compositions. We found thatPA and PAC relations present a mild dependence on metal content.Moreover, the use of different PA and PAC relations for fundamental andfirst-overtone Cepheids improves the accuracy of age estimates in theshort-period (logP<1) range (old Cepheids), because they presentsmaller intrinsic dispersions. At the same time, the use of the PACrelations improves the accuracy in the long-period (logP>=1) range(young Cepheids), since they account for the position of individualobjects inside the instability strip. We performed a detailed comparisonbetween evolutionary and pulsation ages for a sizable sample of LMC (15)and SMC (12) clusters which host at least two Cepheids. In order toavoid deceptive uncertainties in the photometric absolute zero point, weadopted the homogeneous set of B, V, and I data for clusters andCepheids collected by OGLE. We also adopted the same reddening scale.The different age estimates agree at the level of 20% for LMC clustersand of 10% for SMC clusters. We also performed the same comparison fortwo Galactic clusters (NGC 6067, NGC 7790), and the difference in age issmaller than 20%. These findings support the use of PA and PAC relationsto supply accurate estimates of individual stellar ages in the Galaxyand in external Galaxies. The main advantage of this approach is itsindependence from the distance.
|ISOCAM Observations of Globular Clusters in the Magellanic Clouds: The Data|
Seventeen globular clusters in the Large and Small Magellanic Cloudswere observed in the mid-infrared wavelength region with the ISOCAMinstrument on board the Infrared Space Observatory (ISO). Observationswere made using the broadband filters LW1, LW2, and LW10, correspondingto the effective wavelengths of 4.5, 6.7, and 12 μm, respectively. Wepresent the photometry of point sources in each cluster, as well astheir precise positions and finding charts.Based on observations with ISO, an ESA project with instruments fundedby ESA Member states (especially the PI countries: France, Germany, theNetherlands and the United Kingdom) and with participation of ISAS andNASA.
|Ages and metallicities of star clusters: New calibrations and diagnostic diagrams from visible integrated spectra|
We present homogeneous scales of ages and metallicities for starclusters from very young objects, through intermediate-age ones up tothe oldest known clusters. All the selected clusters have integratedspectra in the visible range, as well as reliable determinations oftheir ages and metallicities. From these spectra equivalent widths (EWs)of K Ca II, G band (CH) and Mg I metallic, and Hδ, Hγ andHβ Balmer lines have been measured homogeneously. The analysis ofthese EWs shows that the EW sums of the metallic and Balmer H lines,separately, are good indicators of cluster age for objects younger than10 Gyr, and that the former is also sensitive to cluster metallicity forages greater than 10 Gyr. We propose an iterative procedure forestimating cluster ages by employing two new diagnostic diagrams and agecalibrations based on the above EW sums. For clusters older than 10 Gyr,we also provide a calibration to derive their overall metal contents.
|The Chemical Properties of Milky Way and M31 Globular Clusters. I. A Comparative Study|
A comparative analysis is performed between high-quality integratedspectral indices of 30 M31 globular clusters, 20 Milky Way globularclusters, and a sample of field and cluster elliptical galaxies. We findthat the Lick CN indices in the M31 and Galactic clusters are enhancedrelative to the bulges of the Milky Way, M31, and elliptical spheroids,in agreement with Burstein and coworkers. Although not particularlyevident in the Lick CN indices, the near-UV cyanogen feature(λ3883) is strongly enhanced with respect to the Galacticglobular clusters at metallicities -1.5<[Fe/H]<-0.3. Carbon showssigns of varying among these two groups. For [Fe/H]>-0.8, we observeno systematic differences in the Hδ, Hγ, or Hβ indicesbetween the M31 and Galactic globular clusters, in contrast to previousstudies. The elliptical galaxy sample lies offset from the loci of theglobular clusters in both the cyanogen-[MgFe] and Balmer-line-[MgFe]planes. Six of the M31 clusters appear young and are projected onto theM31 disk. Population synthesis models suggest that these are metal-richclusters with ages 100-800 Myr, metallicities -0.20<=[Fe/H]<=0.35,and masses 0.7-~7.0×104 Msolar. Two otheryoung clusters are Hubble V in NGC 205, observed as a template, and anolder (~3 Gyr) cluster some 7 kpc away from the plane of the disk. Thesix clusters projected onto the disk show signs of rotation similar tothe H I gas in M31, and three clusters exhibit thin disk kinematics,according to Morrison and coworkers. Dynamical mass estimates anddetailed structural parameters are required for these objects todetermine whether they are massive open clusters or globular clusters.If they are the latter, our findings suggest globular clusters may tracethe buildup of galaxy disks. In either case, we conclude that theseclusters are part of a young, metal-rich disk cluster system in M31,possibly as young as 1 Gyr old.
|Infrared Surface Brightness Fluctuations of Magellanic Star Clusters|
We present surface brightness fluctuations (SBFs) in the near-IR for 191Magellanic star clusters available in the Second Incremental and All SkyData releases of the Two Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS) and compare themwith SBFs of Fornax Cluster galaxies and with predictions from stellarpopulation models as well. We also construct color-magnitude diagrams(CMDs) for these clusters using the 2MASS Point Source Catalog (PSC).Our goals are twofold. The first is to provide an empirical calibrationof near-IR SBFs, given that existing stellar population synthesis modelsare particularly discrepant in the near-IR. Second, whereas mostprevious SBF studies have focused on old, metal-rich populations, thisis the first application to a system with such a wide range of ages(~106 to more than 1010 yr, i.e., 4 orders ofmagnitude), at the same time that the clusters have a very narrow rangeof metallicities (Z~0.0006-0.01, i.e., 1 order of magnitude only). Sincestellar population synthesis models predict a more complex sensitivityof SBFs to metallicity and age in the near-IR than in the optical, thisanalysis offers a unique way of disentangling the effects of age andmetallicity. We find a satisfactory agreement between models and data.We also confirm that near-IR fluctuations and fluctuation colors aremostly driven by age in the Magellanic cluster populations and that inthis respect they constitute a sequence in which the Fornax Clustergalaxies fit adequately. Fluctuations are powered by red supergiantswith high-mass precursors in young populations and by intermediate-massstars populating the asymptotic giant branch in intermediate-agepopulations. For old populations, the trend with age of both fluctuationmagnitudes and colors can be explained straightforwardly by evolution inthe structure and morphology of the red giant branch. Moreover,fluctuation colors display a tendency to redden with age that can befitted by a straight line. For the star clusters only,(H-Ks)=(0.21+/-0.03)log(age)-(1.29+/-0.22) once galaxies areincluded, (H-Ks)=(0.20+/-0.02)log(age)-(1.25+/-0.16).Finally, we use for the first time a Poissonian approach to establishthe error bars of fluctuation measurements, instead of the customaryMonte Carlo simulations.This research has made use of the NASA/ IPAC Infrared Science Archive,which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Instituteof Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and SpaceAdministration.
|A Uniform Database of 2.2-16.5 μm Spectra from the ISOCAM CVF Spectrometer|
We present all ISOCAM circular variable filter (CVF) spectra that covermore than one-third of the 2.2-16.5 μm spectral range of theinstrument. The 364 spectra have been classified according to theclassification system of Kraemer et al., as modified by Hodge et al. toaccount for the shorter wavelength range. Prior to classification, thespectra were processed and recalibrated to create a uniform database.Aperture photometry was performed at each wavelength centered on thebrightest position in each image field and the various spectral segmentsmerged into a single spectrum. The aperture was the same for all scalesizes of the images. Since this procedure differs fundamentally fromthat used in the initial ISOCAM calibration, a recalibration of thespectral response of the instrument was required for the aperturephotometry. The recalibrated spectra and the software used to createthem are available to the community on-line via the ISO Data Archive.Several new groups were added to the KSPW system to describe spectrawith no counterparts in either the SWS or PHT-S databases: CA, E/SA,UE/SA, and SSA. The zodiacal dust cloud provides the most commonbackground continuum to the spectral features, visible in almost 40% ofthe processed sources. The most characteristic and ubiquitous spectralfeatures observed in the CVF spectral atlas are those of theunidentified infrared bands (UIR), which are typically attributed toultraviolet-excited fluorescence of large molecules containing aromatichydrocarbons. The UIR features commonly occur superimposed on thezodiacal background (18%) but can also appear in conjunction with otherspectral features, such as fine-structure emission lines or silicateabsorption. In at least 13 of the galaxies observed, the pattern of UIRemission features has been noticeably shifted to longer wavelengths.Based on observations with the Infrared Space Observatory, a EuropeanSpace Agency (ESA) project with instruments funded by ESA Member States(especially the Principal Investigator countries: France, Germany, theNetherlands, and the United Kingdom) and with the participation of theInstitute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS) and the NationalAeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
|The Stellar Populations of dE Galaxies in Nearby Groups|
In this contribution Gemini-North NIRI J,K-observations are used toinvestigate the upper-Asymptotic Giant Branch (AGB) intermediate-agepopulation in the M81 Group dwarf elliptical (dE) F8D1. Hubble SpaceTelescope (HST) `snapshot' V,I-observations are also analysed toinvestigate the upper-AGB populations in two other M81 Group dEs, DDO 71and kk077. In all three dEs, significant intermediate-age populationsare found. Further, there are sizeable dE-to-dE differences in thesepopulations: F8D1 contains relatively more, and relatively moreluminous, upper-AGB stars. These results are compared with existinginformation for Local Group and Sculptor group dwarfs. It is suggestedthat `environmental harrassment' plays an important role in governingdwarf galaxy evolution.
|Analyzing Starbursts Using Magellanic Cloud Star Clusters as Simple Stellar Populations|
Integrated spectra have been obtained of 31 star clusters in theMagellanic Clouds (MC) and of four Galactic globular clusters. Thespectra cover the wavelength range 3500-4700 Å at a resolution of3.2 Å FWHM. The MC clusters primarily cover the age range fromless than 108 to about 3 Gyr and hence are well-suited to anempirical study of aging poststarburst stellar populations. Anage-dating method is presented that relies on two spectral absorptionfeature indices, Hδ/Fe I λ4045 and Ca II, as well as anindex measuring the strength of the Balmer discontinuity. We compare thebehavior of the spectral indices in the observed integrated spectra ofthe MC clusters with that of indices generated from theoreticalevolutionary synthesis models of varying age and metal abundance. Thesynthesis models are based on those of Worthey, when coupled with thecombination of an empirical library of stellar spectra by Jones for thecooler stars and synthetic spectra, generated from Kurucz modelatmospheres, for the hotter stars. Overall, we find good agreementbetween the ages of the MC clusters derived from our integrated spectra(and the evolutionary synthesis modelling of the spectral indices) andages derived from analyses of the cluster color-magnitude diagrams, asfound in the literature. Hence, the principal conclusion of this studyis that ages of young stellar populations can be reliably measured frommodelling of their integrated spectra.
|Measuring cosmological parameters with the SDSS QSO spatial power spectrum analysis to test the cosmological principle|
In this paper we emphasize the importance of the Sloan Digital SkySurvey (SDSS) quasi-stellar object (QSO) clustering statistics as aunique probe of the Universe. Because the complete SDSS QSO samplecovers a quarter of the observable Universe, cosmological parametersestimated from the clustering statistics have an implication as a testof the cosmological principle, by comparing with those from localgalaxies and other cosmological observations. Using an analyticalapproach to the power spectrum for the QSO sample, we assess theaccuracy with which the cosmological parameters can be determined.Arguments based on the Fisher matrix approach demonstrate that the SDSSQSO sample might have a potential to provide useful constraints on thedensity parameters as well as the cosmic equation of state.
|Surface brightness profiles and structural parameters for 10 rich stellar clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud|
As a follow-up to our recent study of a large sample of Large MagellanicCloud (LMC) clusters, we have conducted a similar study of thestructures of 10 Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) clusters, using archivalHubble Space Telescope snapshot data. We present surface brightnessprofiles for each cluster and derive structural parameters, includingcore radii and luminosity and mass estimates, using exactly the sameprocedure as for the LMC sample. Because of the small sample size, theSMC results are not as detailed as for the larger LMC sample. We do notobserve any post-core-collapse clusters (although we did not expect to),and there is little evidence for any double clusters in our sample. Nonethe less, despite the small sample size, we show for the first time thatthe SMC clusters follow almost exactly the same trend in core radiuswith age observed for the LMC system, including the apparent bifurcationat several hundred Myr. This further strengthens our argument that thisrelationship represents true physical evolution in these clusters, withsome developing significantly expanded cores due to an as yetunidentified physical process. Additional data, both observational andfrom N-body simulations, are still required to clarify many issues.
|Pulsation at the tip of the first giant branch?|
The first results of our ongoing near-infrared (NIR) survey of thevariable red giants in the Large Magellanic Cloud, using the InfraredSurvey Facility (IRSF) and the SIRIUS infrared camera, are presented.Many very red stars were detected and we found that most of them arevariables. In the observed colour-magnitude diagram (J-K, K) and thestellar K magnitude distribution, the tip of the first giant branch(TRGB), where helium burning in the core starts, is clearly seen. Apartfrom the genuine AGB variables, we found many variable stars atluminosities around the TRGB. From this result, we infer that asubstantial fraction of them are RGB variables.
|The Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. Catalog of RRLyr Stars from the Small Magellanic Cloud|
We present the catalog of RRLyrae stars from 2.4 square degrees ofcentral parts of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). The photometric datawere collected during four years of the OGLE-II microlensing survey.Photometry of each star was obtained using the Difference Image Analysis(DIA) method. The catalog contains 571 objects, including 458RRab, 56RRcvariables, and 57 double mode RRLyr stars (RRd). Additionally we attacha list of variables with periods between 0.18-0.26 days, which areprobably delta Sct stars. Period, BVI photometry, astrometry, amplitude,and parameters of the Fourier decomposition of the I-band light curveare provided for each object. We also present the Petersen diagram fordouble mode pulsators.We found that the SMC RRLyr stars are fairly uniformly distributed overthe studied area, with no clear correlation to any location. The mostpreferred periods for RRab and RRc stars are 0.589 and 0.357 days,respectively. We noticed significant excess of stars with periods ofabout 0.29 days, which might be second-overtone RRLyr stars (RRe). Themean extinction free magnitudes derived for RRab stars are 18.97, 19.45and 19.73 mag for the I, V and B-band, respectively.All presented data, including individual BVI observations, are availablefrom the OGLE Internet archive.
|The brightest asymptotic giant branch stars in the Leo I dwarf spheroidal galaxy|
The first results of a study of the dwarf spheroidal galaxy Leo I usingthe new Nagoya-South African Infrared Survey Facility (IRSF) arepresented. J, H and Ks observations show that most, if notall, of at least the top magnitude of the asymptotic giant branch (AGB)in Ks is populated by carbon stars. In addition there arefive very red objects which are believed to be dust-enshrouded AGBstars. One of these is, remarkably, well outside the main body of thegalaxy. Three of these obscured stars and five known carbon stars showvariability in observations 11 months apart. One of the obscured starshas ΔKs= 0.87, making it highly likely that it, atleast, is a Mira variable. The tip of the AGB is atMbol~-5.1, but further variability studies are necessary toobtain a definitive value. Comparison with carbon stars, both Miras andnon-Miras, in Magellanic Cloud clusters, and taking into account otherevidence on the ages and metallicities of Leo I populations, suggeststhat these obscured stars belong to the youngest significant populationof Leo I and have ages of ~2 Gyr.
|An Upper Limit to the Age of the Galactic Bar|
Using data from the Two Micron All Sky Survey, we identify a populationof infrared carbon stars with J-KS>=2 in the Milky Way.These stars are shown to trace the stellar bar previously identified inIR and optical surveys. The properties of C stars strongly suggest thatthey are of intermediate age. We conclude that the bar is likely to haveformed more recently than 3 Gyr ago and must be younger than 6 Gyr.Implications and further tests of this conclusion are briefly discussed.
|Constraining the LMC cluster age gap: Washington photometry of NGC 2155 and SL 896 (LW 480)|
We carried out Washington system photometry of the intermediate-ageLarge Magellanic Cloud (LMC) star clusters NGC2155 and SL896 (LW480). Wederive ages and metallicities from the T1 versusC-T1 colour-magnitude diagrams (CMDs). For the first time anage has been obtained for SL896, 2.3+/-0.5Gyr. For NGC2155 we derive3.6+/-0.7Gyr. The two clusters basically define the lower age limit ofthe LMC age gap. In particular, NGC2155 is confirmed as the oldestintermediate-age LMC cluster so far studied. The derived metallicitiesare [Fe/H]=-0.9+/-0.2 and -0.6+/-0.2 for NGC2155 and SL896,respectively. We also studied the CMDs of the surrounding fields, whichhave a dominant turn-off comparable to that of the clusters themselves,and similar metallicity, showing that one is dealing with anintermediate-age disc where clusters and field stars have the sameorigin. We inserted the present clusters in the LMC and Small MagellanicCloud (SMC) age-metallicity relations, using a set of homogeneousdeterminations with the same method as in our previous studies, nowtotalling 15 LMC clusters and four SMC clusters, together with someadditional values from the literature. The LMC and SMC age-metallicityrelations appear to be remarkably complementary, since the SMC wasactively star-forming during the LMC quiescent age gap epoch.
|Evolution of the dust mass loss with luminosity along the giant branch of the globular cluster 47 Tucanae|
The present paper investigates the properties of the dust mass loss instars populating the giant branch of the globular cluster 47 Tuc, bycombining ISOCAM and DENIS data. Raster maps of 5 fields covering areasranging from 4x4 to 15x15 arcmin2 at different distances fromthe center of the cluster have been obtained with ISOCAM at 11.5 mu m(LW10 filter). The covered fields include most of the red variablesknown in this cluster. A detection threshold of about 0.2 mJy isachieved, allowing us to detect giant stars at 11.5 mu m all the waydown to the horizontal branch. No dust-enshrouded asymptotic giantbranch stars have been found in the observed fields, contrary to thesituation encountered in LMC/SMC globular clusters with larger turnoffmasses. The color index - (based on the ISO 11.5 mu m flux and onthe DENIS Ks magnitude) is used as a diagnostic of dustemission (and hence dust mass loss). Its evolution with luminosity alongthe giant branch reveals that dust mass loss is only present in V3 (theonly cluster Mira variable observed in the present study) and in V18, astar presenting intermittent variability. This conclusion confirms theimportance of stellar pulsations in the dust formation and ensuing massloss. Table 3 is only available in electronic form at the CDS viaanonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (126.96.36.199) or viahttp://cdsweb.u-strasbg.fr/cgi-bin/qcat?J/A+A/372/85
|The Evolved Red Stellar Content of M32|
Near-infrared images obtained with the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope(CFHT) Adaptive Optics Bonnette (AOB) are used to investigate thestellar content of the Local Group compact elliptical galaxy M32.Observations of a field 2.3′ from the galaxy center reveal a largepopulation of asymptotic giant branch (AGB) stars, and comparisons withmodels indicate that these objects have an agelog(tGyr)<=9.3. The AGB population is very homogeneous,with Δlog(tGyr)<=+/-0.1 dex andΔ[M/H]<=+/-0.3 dex. The reddest AGB stars have J-K<=1.5, andit is suggested that the very red stars seen in earlier, less deep,surveys are the result of large photometric errors. The bolometric AGBluminosity function (LF) of this field is in excellent agreement withthat of the Galactic bulge. Based on the integrated brightness of AGBstars brighter than the red giant branch tip, which occurs at K=17.8, itis concluded that intermediate-age stars account for roughly 25% of thetotal K light and 10%+/-5% of the total mass in this field. A fieldclose to the center of M32 was also observed. The brightest stars withina few arcseconds of the nucleus have K=15.5, and the density of theseobjects is consistent with that predicted from the outer regions of thegalaxy after scaling according to surface brightness. Moreover, the Kluminosity function (LF) of bright sources between 20" and 30" of thenucleus is well matched by the LF of the outer regions of the galaxyafter accounting for differences in surface brightness and correctingfor the effects of crowding. It is concluded that the relative size ofthe intermediate-age component with respect to other populations doesnot change with radius over much of the galaxy. However, the integratedJ-K color and 2.3 μm CO index change with radius within a few tenthsof an arcsecond of the galaxy center, indicating that, contrary to whatmight be inferred from observations at visible wavelengths, theintegrated photometric properties of the central regions of M32 differfrom those of the surrounding galaxy.
|The variability of Magellanic cluster infrared stars|
We report on the light variations of the infrared stars that werediscovered recently in the Magellanic clusters NGC 419, 1783 and 1978.Their periods, of 528, 458 and 491 days, are among the longest known forcarbon-rich Mira variables in the Clouds. All three IR stars were foundto lie on the extension of the period-Mbol relation derivedfrom the shorter-period C-rich Miras while they were 0.45-0.70magfainter than the extension of the period-MK relation. Theirmain sequence masses were determined by isochrone fitting to be1.5-1.6Msolar, consistent with the prediction of theevolutionary models of Vassiliadis & Wood.
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