Volume 428, Number 1, December II 2004
|Page(s)||79 - 88|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters, and populations|
|Published online||23 November 2004|
Ages and metallicities of star clusters: New calibrations and diagnostic diagrams from visible integrated spectra
Departamento de Física, ICEx, UFMG, CP 702, 30123-970 Belo Horizonte, MG, Brazil e-mail: email@example.com
2 Instituto de Astronomía y Fisica del Espacio, CC 67, Suc. 28, 1428, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Accepted: 28 July 2004
We present homogeneous scales of ages and metallicities for star clusters from very young objects, through intermediate-age ones up to the oldest known clusters. All the selected clusters have integrated spectra in the visible range, as well as reliable determinations of their ages and metallicities. From these spectra equivalent widths (EWs) of K Ca II, G band (CH) and Mg I metallic, and Hδ, Hγ and Hβ Balmer lines have been measured homogeneously. The analysis of these EWs shows that the EW sums of the metallic and Balmer H lines, separately, are good indicators of cluster age for objects younger than 10 Gyr, and that the former is also sensitive to cluster metallicity for ages greater than 10 Gyr. We propose an iterative procedure for estimating cluster ages by employing two new diagnostic diagrams and age calibrations based on the above EW sums. For clusters older than 10 Gyr, we also provide a calibration to derive their overall metal contents.
Key words: galaxies: star clusters / stars: fundamental parameters / techniques: spectroscopic
© ESO, 2004
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