EDP Sciences
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Volume 366, Number 2, February I 2001
Page(s) 498 - 507
Section Stellar clusters and associations
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20000263

A&A 366, 498-507 (2001)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20000263

Star clusters in M 33

IV. A new survey from deep HST images
R. Chandar1, L. Bianchi1, 2 and H. C. Ford1

1  Department of Physics & Astronomy, The Johns Hopkins University, 3701 San Martin Dr., Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
    e-mail: rupali@pha.jhu.edu; bianchi@pha.jhu.edu; ford@pha.jhu.edu
2  Astronomical Observatory of Torino, 10025 Pino Torinese, TO, Italy

(Received 2 June 2000 / Accepted 14 November 2000)

We have detected 102 star clusters in M 33, from 35 deep Hubble Space Telescope (HST) WFPC2 fields taken from our program and from the HST archive. Twenty-eight fields have V and I band imaging, and an additional seven fields are imaged in a single V filter. Eighty-two of the clusters were previously unknown. Integrated photometry reveals that 25 clusters have (V-I) colors typical of those found in Galactic globular clusters (only ten of these objects were previously known). Our discovery of 15 new globular cluster candidates increases previous estimates of the old cluster population in M 33 by $\sim$60% . An additional eleven objects (only two were previously known) have colors expected for intermediate age clusters. The new clusters have a range of ages from 6 million years to >15 Gyrs, and masses between $10^{2} M_{\odot}{-}10^{6} M_{\odot}$, although these parameters are estimated from only one color. The number of new clusters detected more than doubles our previous sample (Papers I and II), and extends coverage to older objects and new off-spiral arm locations in M 33. The luminosity function for old M 33 clusters shows a peak at $M_{V}\sim-7.0$, nearly half a magnitude fainter than found in the Galactic and M 31 globular cluster populations. The luminosity function for intermediate age objects shows no turnover down to $M_{V}\sim-6.6$. We estimate the total number of globular clusters in M 33 to be $75\pm14$. This gives a specific frequency, $S_{\rm N}$, of $2.07\pm0.39$ -significantly higher than found for other late-type spiral galaxies, but in the range found for ellipticals.

Key words: galaxies: individual (M 33) -- galaxies: star clusters -- galaxies: evolution

Offprint request: R. Chandar

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