Volume 391, Number 3, September I 2002
|Page(s)||857 - 873|
|Section||Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)|
|Published online||09 August 2002|
The star cluster system of the NGC 7673 starburst*
ESO, Karl Schwarzschild Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
2 University of Wisconsin, Department of Astronomy, 475 N. Charter St., Madison, WI 53706, USA
3 ESO ST-ECF, Karl Schwarzschild Str. 2, 85748 Garching bei München, Germany
Corresponding author: N. Homeier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 7 June 2002
We investigate the star cluster system in the starburst galaxy NGC 7673 using archival Hubble Space Telescope WFPC2 broad-band images. For the first time we are able to examine the internal structures of the prominent optical clumps in this galaxy. The clumps are composed of young stars, 16–33% of which are in bright star clusters. We identify 268 star cluster candidates in both the F555W and F814W images, and 50 clusters with the F255W filter. These data allow us to estimate ages and masses using color-magnitude and two-color diagrams for our sample. We find a population of young, <6 Myr clusters located throughout the galaxy with concentrations in the clumps. Star cluster mass estimates are 5–50 10 for the brightest objects. The starburst remains active in physically well-separated regions, indicating a widespread starburst trigger. We discuss clump lifetimes, their implications for the future evolution of NGC 7673, and possible relationships to high redshift starbursts.
Key words: galaxies: evolution / galaxies: starburst / galaxies: individual: NGC 7673 / galaxies: interactions / galaxies: star clusters
© ESO, 2002
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