Anatomy of a young massive star cluster: NGC 1569-B

S.S. Larsen, L. Origlia, J.P. Brodie, J.S. Gallagher

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We present new H-band echelle spectra, obtained with the NIRSPEC spectrograph at Keck II, for the massive star cluster 'B' in the nearby dwarf irregular galaxy NGC 1569. From spectral synthesis and equivalent width measurements, we obtain abundances and abundance patterns. We derive an Fe abundance of [Fe/H]=−0.63 ± 0.08 , a supersolar [α/Fe] abundance ratio of +0.31 ± 0.09, and an O abundance of [O/H]=−0.29 ± 0.07 . We also measure a low 12C/13C ≈ 5 ± 1 isotopic ratio. Using archival imaging from the Advanced Camera for Surveys onboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), we construct a colour–magnitude diagram (CMD) for the cluster in which we identify about 60 red supergiant (RSG) stars, consistent with the strong RSG features seen in the H-band spectrum. The mean effective temperature of these RSGs, derived from their observed colours and weighted by their estimated H-band luminosities, is 3790 K, in excellent agreement with our spectroscopic estimate of Teff= 3800 ± 200 K . From the CMD, we derive an age of 15–25 Myr, slightly older than previous estimates based on integrated broad-band colours. We derive a radial velocity of 〈vr〉=−78 ± 3 km s−1 and a velocity dispersion of 9.6 ± 0.3 km s−1 . In combination with an estimate of the half-light radius of 0.20 ± 0.05 arcsec from the HST data, this leads to a dynamical mass of (4.4 ± 1.1) × 105 M⊙ . The dynamical mass agrees very well with the mass predicted by simple stellar population models for a cluster of this age and luminosity, assuming a normal stellar initial mass function. The cluster core radius appears smaller at longer wavelengths, as has previously been found in other extragalactic young star clusters.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)263-276
Number of pages14
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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