EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 433, Number 2, April II 2005
Page(s) 447 - 454
Section Extragalactic astronomy
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20041028

A&A 433, 447-454 (2005)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20041028

The star cluster population of NGC 5253

G. Cresci1, L. Vanzi2 and M. Sauvage3

1  Dipartimento di Astronomia, Universitá di Firenze, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy
    e-mail: gcresci@arcetri.astro.it
2  ESO, Alonso de Cordova 3107, Casilla 19, Santiago 19001, Chile
3  Service d'Astrophysique, CEA/DSM/DAPNIA, Centre d'Études de Saclay, 91191 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex, France

(Received 5 April 2004 / Accepted 9 November 2004)

We present a detailed analysis of the star cluster population in the starburst galaxy NGC 5253. Our work is based on HST optical and VLT Ks images. We detect more than 300 clusters, and for all of them we derive the photometry in the V, I and Ks bands and built a color-color V-I/V-Ks diagram. After correction for star contamination, we matched 115 sources in all the three bands V, I and Ks. Comparison of the data points with models shows that most of the sources are affected by a red excess. The ages of the younger clusters are obtained from an HST H$\alpha$ image which makes it possible to partially remove the degeneracy between age and extinction and to calculate the screen optical depth toward the clusters. The V and Ks luminosity functions show a marked turnover at $M_{\rm V}=-7.3$ and MK=-10.2, with a shape roughly similar to the Gaussian distribution of old globular clusters. We convert the luminosity function into a mass function, and find that the clusters younger than 10 Myr show a power law distribution with slope -1.6, while the distribution of the older clusters has a maximum at about $4 \times 10^4~M_{\odot}$.

Key words: galaxies: individual: NGC 5253 -- galaxies: star clusters -- galaxies: starburst

SIMBAD Objects

© ESO 2005