NASA/IPAC EXTRAGALACTIC DATABASE
Date and Time of the Query: 2019-07-18 T13:01:05 PDT
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For refcode 2005A&A...435...65B:
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Copyright by European Southern Observatory (ESO). Reproduced by permission
2005A&A...435...65B The star cluster population in the tidal tails of NGC 6872 N. Bastian, M. Hempel, M. Kissler-Patig, N. L. Homeier and G. Trancho Received 18 October 2004 / Accepted 3 February 2005 We present a photometric analysis of the rich star cluster population in the tidal tails of NGC 6872. We find star clusters with ages between 1-100 Myr distributed in the tidal tails, while the tails themselves have an age of less than 150 Myr. Most of the young massive (10^4^ <= M/M_sun_ <= 10^7^) clusters are found in the outer regions of the galactic disk or the tidal tails. The mass distribution of the cluster population can be well described by a power-law of the form N(m) is proportional to m^-^{alpha}, where {alpha} =1.85 +/- 0.11, in very good agreement with other young cluster populations found in a variety of different environments. We estimate the star formation rate for three separate regions of the galaxy, and find that the eastern tail is forming stars at 2 times the rate of the western tail and 5 times the rate of the main body of the galaxy. By comparing our observations with published N-body models of the fate of material in tidal tails in a galaxy cluster potential, we see that many of these young clusters will be lost into the intergalactic medium. We speculate that this mechanism may also be at work in larger galaxy clusters such as Fornax, and suggest that the so-called ultra-compact dwarf galaxies could be the most massive star clusters that have formed in the tidal tails of an ancient galactic merger. Keywords: galaxies: star clusters, galaxies: interactions, galaxies: individual: NGC 6872
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