The VMC survey - XIV: First results on the look-back time star formation rate tomography of the small magellanic cloud

S. Rubele, L. Girardi, L. Kerber, M.R.L. Cioni, A.E. Piatti, S. Zaggia, Kenji Bekki, A. Bressan, G. Clementini, R. De Grijs, J.P. Emerson, M.A.T. Groenewegen, V.D. Ivanov, M. Marconi, P. Marigo, M.I. Moretti, V. Ripepi, S. Subramanian, B.L. Tatton, J.T. Van Loon

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    53 Citations (Scopus)


    © 2015 The Authors. We analyse deep images from the VISTA survey of the Magellanic Clouds in the YJKs filters, covering 14 deg2 (10 tiles), split into 120 subregions, and comprising the main body and Wing of the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We apply a colour-magnitude diagram reconstruction method that returns their best-fitting star formation rate SFR(t), age-metallicity relation (AMR), distance and mean reddening, together with 68 per cent confidence intervals. The distance data can be approximated by a plane tilted in the East-West direction with a mean inclination of 39°, although deviations of up to ±3 kpc suggest a distorted and warped disc. After assigning to every observed star a probability of belonging to a given age-metallicity interval, we build high-resolution population maps. These dramatically reveal the flocculent nature of the young star-forming regions and the nearly smooth features traced by older stellar generations. They document the formation of the SMC Wing at ages
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)639-661
    JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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