In PROBING STELLAR POPULATIONS OUT TO THE DISTANT UNIVERSE: CEFALU 2008, Proceedings of the International Conference. AIP Conference Proceedings, Volume 1111, pp. 27-34 (2009).
astro-ph/0904.0247

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SURFACE BRIGHTNESS FLUCTUATIONS AS STELLAR POPULATION INDICATORS

John P. Blakeslee


Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, National Research Council of Canada, Victoria, B.C. V9E 2E7


Abstract. Surface Brightness Fluctuations (SBF) can provide useful information about the unresolved stellar content of early-type galaxies and spiral bulges. The absolute SBF magnitude bar{M} in a given passband depends on the properties of the stellar population and can be predicted by population synthesis models. SBF measurements in different bandpasses are sensitive to different evolutionary stages within the galaxy stellar population. Near-IR SBF magnitudes are sensitive to the evolution of stars within the AGB phase, especially the thermally pulsing AGB, while SBF in the blue and UV are sensitive to the hot horizontal branch and post-AGB stages. Thus, multi-band SBF studies can constrain important evolutionary parameters. Empirically, SBF data at the red end of the optical spectrum (i, z, and potentially y) remain excellent distance indicators. I briefly review some recent work on stellar populations using SBF, primarily from an observational point of view.


Table of Contents

INTRODUCTION: THE SBF METHOD

STELLAR POPULATION EFFECTS ON SBF MAGNITUDES
SBF as a Distance Indicator: Some Recent Work
Multi-band SBF: Hot Horizontal Branches, TP-AGB, Post-AGB, etc.

SBF AND STELLAR POPULATION GRADIENTS

SBF AND TOTAL STELLAR MASS: bar{N}

OUTLOOK

REFERENCES

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