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H α morphologies of star clusters: a LEGUS study of H II region evolution time-scales and stochasticity in low-mass clusters
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Number of Authors: 282019 (English)In: Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, ISSN 0035-8711, E-ISSN 1365-2966, Vol. 490, no 4, p. 4648-4665Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The morphology of H II regions around young star clusters provides insight into the time-scales and physical processes that clear a cluster's natal gas. We study similar to 700 young clusters (<= 10 Myr) in three nearby spiral galaxies (NGC 7793, NGC 4395, and NGC 1313) using Hubble Space Telescope (HST) imaging from LEGUS (Legacy ExtraGalactic Ultraviolet Survey). Clusters are classified by their H alpha morphology (concentrated, partially exposed, no-emission) and whether they have neighbouring clusters (which could affect the clearing time-scales). Through visual inspection of the HST images, and analysis of ages, reddenings, and stellar masses from spectral energy distributions fitting, together with the (U - B), (V - I) colours, we find (1) the median ages indicate a progression from concentrated (similar to 3Myr), to partially exposed (similar to 4Myr), to no H alpha emission (>5Myr), consistent with the expected temporal evolution of H II regions and previous results. However, (2) similarities in the age distributions for clusters with concentrated and partially exposed H alpha morphologies imply a short time-scale for gas clearing (less than or similar to 1 Myr). Also, (3) our cluster sample's median mass is similar to 1000 M-circle dot, and a significant fraction (similar to 20 per cent) contain one or more bright red sources (presumably supergiants), which can mimic reddening effects. Finally, (4) the median E(B - V) values for clusters with concentrated H alpha and those without H alpha emission appear to be more similar than expected (similar to 0.18 versus similar to 0.14, respectively), but when accounting for stochastic effects, clusters without H alpha emission are less reddened. To mitigate stochastic effects, we experiment with synthesizing more massive clusters by stacking fluxes of clusters within each H alpha morphological class. Composite isolated clusters also reveal a colour and age progression for H alpha morphological classes, consistent with analysis of the individual clusters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 490, no 4, p. 4648-4665
Keywords [en]
ISM: H II regions, ISM: evolution, galaxies: star clusters, galaxies: ISM
National Category
Physical Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-178720DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stz2820ISI: 000504000300012OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-178720DiVA, id: diva2:1391424
Available from: 2020-02-04 Created: 2020-02-04 Last updated: 2020-02-04Bibliographically approved

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Adamo, AngelaDella Bruna, LorenzaGrasha, K.
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Department of AstronomyThe Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmo Particle Physics (OKC)
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