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Date and Time of the Query: 2019-07-16 T14:14:22 PDT
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For refcode 2015ApJ...805...99M:
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2015ApJ...805...99M Ages of Star Clusters in the Tidal Tails of Merging Galaxies Mulia, A. J.; Chandar, R.; Whitmore, B. C. Abstract. We study the stellar content in the tidal tails of three nearby merging galaxies, NGC 520, NGC 2623, and NGC 3256, using BVI imaging taken with the Advanced Camera for Surveys on board the Hubble Space Telescope. The tidal tails in all three systems contain compact and fairly massive young star clusters, embedded in a sea of diffuse, unresolved stellar light. We compare the measured colors and luminosities with predictions from population synthesis models to estimate cluster ages and find that clusters began forming in tidal tails during or shortly after the formation of the tails themselves. We find a lack of very young clusters (<=10 Myr old), implying that eventually star formation shuts off in the tails as the gas is used up or dispersed. There are a few clusters in each tail with estimated ages that are older than the modeled tails themselves, suggesting that these may have been stripped out from the original galaxy disks. The luminosity function of the tail clusters can be described by a single power-law, dN/dL is proportional to L^{alpha}^, with -2.6 < {alpha} < -2.0. We find a stellar age gradient across some of the tidal tails, which we interpret as a superposition of (1) newly formed stars and clusters along the dense center of the tail and (2) a sea of broadly distributed, older stellar material ejected from the progenitor galaxies. Key words: galaxies: interactions, galaxies: star clusters: general, galaxies: star clusters: individual: NGC 520, NGC 2623, NGC 3256, galaxies: star formation
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