We present color-magnitude diagrams in the V and I bands for 15 star clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) based on data taken with the Very Large Telescope (VLT, Chile). We selected these clusters from our previous work, wherein we derived cluster radial velocities and metallicities from calcium II infrared triplet (CaT) spectra also taken with the VLT. We discovered that the ages of six of our clusters have been appreciably underestimated by previous studies, which used comparatively small telescopes, graphically illustrating the need for large apertures to obtain reliable ages of old and intermediate-age SMC star clusters. In particular, three of these clusters, L4, L6, and L110, turn out to be among the oldest SMC clusters known, with ages of 7.9 ± 1.1, 8.7 ± 1.2, and 7.6 ± 1.0 Gyr, respectively, helping to fill a possible "SMC cluster age gap." Using the current ages and metallicities from Parisi et al., we analyze the age distribution, age gradient, and age-metallicity relation (AMR) of a sample of SMC clusters measured homogeneously. There is a suggestion of bimodality in the age distribution but it does not show a constant slope for the first 4 Gyr, and we find no evidence for an age gradient. Due to the improved ages of our cluster sample, we find that our AMR is now better represented in the intermediate/old period than we had derived in Parisi et al., where we simply took ages available in the literature. Additionally, clusters younger than ~4 Gyr now show better agreement with the bursting model of Pagel & Tautvaišienė, but we confirm that this model is not a good representation of the AMR during the intermediate/old period. A more complicated model is needed to explain the SMC chemical evolution in that period.

Age Determination of 15 Old to Intermediate-age Small Magellanic Cloud Star Clusters

CARRARO, GIOVANNI;
2014

Abstract

We present color-magnitude diagrams in the V and I bands for 15 star clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) based on data taken with the Very Large Telescope (VLT, Chile). We selected these clusters from our previous work, wherein we derived cluster radial velocities and metallicities from calcium II infrared triplet (CaT) spectra also taken with the VLT. We discovered that the ages of six of our clusters have been appreciably underestimated by previous studies, which used comparatively small telescopes, graphically illustrating the need for large apertures to obtain reliable ages of old and intermediate-age SMC star clusters. In particular, three of these clusters, L4, L6, and L110, turn out to be among the oldest SMC clusters known, with ages of 7.9 ± 1.1, 8.7 ± 1.2, and 7.6 ± 1.0 Gyr, respectively, helping to fill a possible "SMC cluster age gap." Using the current ages and metallicities from Parisi et al., we analyze the age distribution, age gradient, and age-metallicity relation (AMR) of a sample of SMC clusters measured homogeneously. There is a suggestion of bimodality in the age distribution but it does not show a constant slope for the first 4 Gyr, and we find no evidence for an age gradient. Due to the improved ages of our cluster sample, we find that our AMR is now better represented in the intermediate/old period than we had derived in Parisi et al., where we simply took ages available in the literature. Additionally, clusters younger than ~4 Gyr now show better agreement with the bursting model of Pagel & Tautvaišienė, but we confirm that this model is not a good representation of the AMR during the intermediate/old period. A more complicated model is needed to explain the SMC chemical evolution in that period.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/3148544
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