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On the Origin of the Red Excess in Very Young Super Star Clusters: The Case of SBS 0335-052E
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Astronomy.
Observatory of Geneva, Switzerland.
2010 (English)In: Astrophysical Journal, ISSN 0004-637X, E-ISSN 1538-4357, Vol. 725, no 2, 1620-1628 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The spectral energy distribution analysis of very young unresolved star clusters challenges our understanding of the cluster formation process. Studies of resolved massive clusters in the Milky Way and in the nearby Magellanic Clouds show us that the contribution from photoionized gas is very important during the first Myr of cluster evolution. We present our models which include both a self-consistent treatment of the photoionized gas and the stellar continuum and quantify the impact of such a nebular component on the total flux of young unresolved star clusters. A comparison with other available models is considered. The very young star clusters in the SBS 0335-052E dwarf starburst galaxy are used as a test for our models. Due to the low metallicity of the galactic medium our models predict a longer lasted nebular phase which contributes between 10% and 40% of the total near-infrared (NIR) fluxes at around 10 Myr. We thus propose a possible solution for the observed flux excess in the six bright super star clusters (SSCs) of SBS 0335-052E. Reines et al. showed that the observed cluster fluxes, in the red-optical and NIR range, sit irreconcilably above the stellar continuum models provided. We find that in the age range estimated from the Hα emission we can explain the red excess in all six SSCs as due to nebular emission, which at cluster ages around 10 Myr still affects the NIR wavebands substantially.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 725, no 2, 1620-1628 p.
Keyword [en]
galaxies: dwarf, galaxies: individual: SBS 0335-052E, galaxies: starburst, galaxies: star clusters: general
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52670DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/725/2/1620OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-52670DiVA: diva2:388540
Available from: 2011-01-17 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Super Star Clusters in Blue Compact Galaxies: Evidence for a near-infrared flux excess and properties of the starburst phase
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Super Star Clusters in Blue Compact Galaxies: Evidence for a near-infrared flux excess and properties of the starburst phase
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Luminous Blue compact galaxies (BCGs) are metal-poor actively star-forming systems, characterised by bright ultraviolet and blue luminosities. Hubble Space Telescope high-resolution data have revealed that the luminous star-forming knots in these galaxies are composed of hundreds of young massive star clusters. In this work we present a systematic study of the star cluster populations in BCGs with important implications for the formation history of their host systems. The studied galaxies show recently increased star formation rates and a high fraction of massive clusters, probably as a result of minor/major merger events. The age distributions have a peak of cluster formation at only 3 - 4 Myr, unveiling a unique sample of clusters still partially embedded. A considerable fraction of clusters (30 - 50 %), mainly younger than 10 Myr, shows an observed flux excess between 0.8 and 2.2 μm. This so-called near-infrared (NIR) excess is impossible to reproduce even with the most recent spectral synthesis models (that include a self-consistent treatment of the photoionized gas). The origin of the NIR excess, which still remains unexplained, challenges our understanding of the cluster formation process under extreme conditions.

The results achieved in this work have produced important insights into the cluster formation process in BCGs. We suggest that the BCG environment has most likely favoured the compression and collapse of giant molecular clouds into compact massive star clusters. The cluster formation efficiency (i.e., the fraction of star formation happening in star clusters) in BCGs is higher than the reported 8 - 10 %, for quiescent spirals and local star-forming galaxies. Luminous BCGs have a cluster formation efficiency comparable to luminous infrared galaxies and spiral starburst nuclei (the averaged value is  about 30 %), suggesting an important role of the merger event in the cluster formation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Astronomy, Stockholm University, 2011. 56 p.
Keyword
starburst galaxy-extragalactic star clusters-dwarf merger
National Category
Astronomy, Astrophysics and Cosmology
Research subject
Astronomy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52681 (URN)978-91-7447-215-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-02-18, sal FB53, AlbaNova universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 4: Accepted. Paper 5: Manuscript. Paper 6: Manuscript.Available from: 2012-01-11 Created: 2011-01-17 Last updated: 2012-01-11Bibliographically approved

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