The Star Cluster Population of the Collisional Ring Galaxy NGC 922

A. Pellerin, Gerhardt R. Meurer, Kenji Bekki, D.M. Elmegreen, O. Ivy Wong, P.M. Knezek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We present a detailed study of the star cluster population detected in the galaxy NGC 922, one of the closest collisional ring galaxies known to date, using Hubble Space Telescope/Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 UBVI photometry, population synthesis models, and N-body/smoothed particle hydrodynamics simulations. We find that 69% of the clusters are younger than 7 Myr, and that most of them are located in the ring or along the bar, consistent with the strong Hα emission. The cluster luminosity function slope of 2.1-2.3 for NGC 922 is in agreement with those of young clusters in nearby galaxies. Models of the cluster age distribution match the observations best when cluster disruption is considered. We also find clusters with ages (>50 Myr) and masses (>105 M ☉) that are excellent progenitors for faint fuzzy clusters. The images also show a tidal plume pointing toward the companion. Its stellar age from our analysis is consistent with pre-existing stars that were stripped off during the passage of the companion. Finally, a comparison of the star-forming complexes observed in NGC 922 with those of a distant ring galaxy from the GOODS field indicates very similar masses and sizes, suggesting similar origins.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1369-1382
JournalAstronomical Journal
Volume139
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2010
Externally publishedYes

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