A Novel Method to Automatically Detect and Measure the Ages of Star Clusters in Nearby Galaxies: Application to the Large Magellanic Cloud

T. Bitsakis, P. Bonfini, R. A. González-Lópezlira, V. H. Ramírez-Siordia, G. Bruzual, S. Charlot, G. Maravelias, D. Zaritsky

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

We present our new, fully automated method to detect and measure the ages of star clusters in nearby galaxies, where individual stars can be resolved. The method relies purely on statistical analysis of observations and Monte-Carlo simulations to define stellar overdensities in the data. It decontaminates the cluster color-magnitude diagrams and, using a revised version of the Bayesian isochrone fitting code of Ramírez-Siordia et al., estimates the ages of the clusters. Comparisons of our estimates with those from other surveys show the superiority of our method to extract and measure the ages of star clusters, even in the most crowded fields. An application of our method is shown for the high-resolution, multiband imaging of the Large Magellanic Cloud. We detect 4850 clusters in the 7 deg2 we surveyed, 3451 of which have not been reported before. Our findings suggest multiple epochs of star cluster formation, with the most probable occurring ∼310 Myr ago. Several of these events are consistent with the epochs of the interactions among the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds, and the Galaxy, as predicted by N-body numerical simulations. Finally, the spatially resolved star cluster formation history may suggest an inside-out cluster formation scenario throughout the LMC, for the past 1 Gyr.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Article number56
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume845
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 10 2017

Fingerprint

star clusters
Magellanic clouds
galaxies
method
time measurement
estimates
simulation
color-magnitude diagram
statistical analysis
histories
stars
high resolution
interactions
diagram
history
comparison
code

Keywords

  • catalogs
  • galaxies: star clusters: general
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • methods: statistical

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Cite this

Bitsakis, T., Bonfini, P., González-Lópezlira, R. A., Ramírez-Siordia, V. H., Bruzual, G., Charlot, S., ... Zaritsky, D. (2017). A Novel Method to Automatically Detect and Measure the Ages of Star Clusters in Nearby Galaxies: Application to the Large Magellanic Cloud. Astrophysical Journal, 845(1), [56]. DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa8090

A Novel Method to Automatically Detect and Measure the Ages of Star Clusters in Nearby Galaxies : Application to the Large Magellanic Cloud. / Bitsakis, T.; Bonfini, P.; González-Lópezlira, R. A.; Ramírez-Siordia, V. H.; Bruzual, G.; Charlot, S.; Maravelias, G.; Zaritsky, D.

In: Astrophysical Journal, Vol. 845, No. 1, 56, 10.08.2017.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Bitsakis, T, Bonfini, P, González-Lópezlira, RA, Ramírez-Siordia, VH, Bruzual, G, Charlot, S, Maravelias, G & Zaritsky, D 2017, 'A Novel Method to Automatically Detect and Measure the Ages of Star Clusters in Nearby Galaxies: Application to the Large Magellanic Cloud' Astrophysical Journal, vol 845, no. 1, 56. DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa8090
Bitsakis T, Bonfini P, González-Lópezlira RA, Ramírez-Siordia VH, Bruzual G, Charlot S et al. A Novel Method to Automatically Detect and Measure the Ages of Star Clusters in Nearby Galaxies: Application to the Large Magellanic Cloud. Astrophysical Journal. 2017 Aug 10;845(1). 56. Available from, DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/aa8090
Bitsakis, T. ; Bonfini, P. ; González-Lópezlira, R. A. ; Ramírez-Siordia, V. H. ; Bruzual, G. ; Charlot, S. ; Maravelias, G. ; Zaritsky, D./ A Novel Method to Automatically Detect and Measure the Ages of Star Clusters in Nearby Galaxies : Application to the Large Magellanic Cloud. In: Astrophysical Journal. 2017 ; Vol. 845, No. 1.
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