Article

Super star clusters in Haro 11: Properties of a very young starburst and evidence for a near-infrared flux excess

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (Impact Factor: 5.23). 05/2010; DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2010.16983.x
Source: arXiv

ABSTRACT We have used multi-band imaging to investigate the nature of the extreme starburst environment in Haro 11 galaxy. The central starburst region has been observed in 8 HST wavebands and at 2.16 micron at the ESO-VLT. We constructed integrated spectral energy distributions (SEDs) for about 200 star clusters and compared them with single stellar population models in order to derive ages, masses and extinctions of thestar clusters. The present starburst has lasted for 40 Myr, and shows a peak of cluster formation only 3.5 Myr old. With such an extremely young cluster population, Haro 11 represents a unique opportunity to investigate the youngest phase of the cluster formation process and evolution in starburst systems. Extinction tends to diminish as function of the cluster age, but the spread is large and for clusters in partial embedded phases (< 5 Myr). A fraction of low-mass (> 10^4 Msun), very young (1-3 Myr) clusters is missing, either because they are embedded inthe parental molecular cloud and heavily extinguished, or because of blending. Almost half of the cluster sample is affected by flux excesses at wavelengths 8000 \AA which cannot be explained by simple stellar evolutionary models. Fitting SED models over all wavebands leads to systematic overestimates of cluster ages and incorrect masses for the stellar population supplying the light in these clusters. We show that the red excess affects also the HST F814W filter, which is typically used to constrain cluster physical properties. The clusters which show the red excess are younger than 40 Myr; we propose possible physical explanations for the phenomenon. Finally, we estimate that Haro 11 hasproduced bound clusters at a rate almost a factor of 10 higher than the massive and regular spirals, like the Milky Way. (Abriged) Comment: Accepted for publication in MNRAS. 23 pages, 23 figures

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Erik Zackrisson, Jul 30, 2015
1 Follower
 · 
99 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The spectral energy distribution analysis of very young unresolved star clusters challenges our understanding of the cluster formation process. Studies of resolved massive clusters in the Milky Way and in the nearby Magellanic Clouds show us that the contribution from photoionized gas is very important during the first Myr of cluster evolution. We present our models which include both a self-consistent treatment of the photoionized gas and the stellar continuum and quantify the impact of such nebular component on the total flux of young unresolved star clusters. A comparison with other available models is considered. The very young star clusters in the SBS 0335-052E dwarf starburst galaxy are used as a test for our models. Due to the low metallicity of the galactic medium our models predict a longer lasted nebular phase which contributes between 10-40% of the total near infrared (NIR) fluxes at around 10 Myr. We propose thus a possible solution for the observed flux excess in the 6 bright super star clusters of SBS 0335-052E. Reines et al. showed that the observed cluster fluxes, in the red-optical and NIR range, sit irreconcilably above the provided stellar continuum models. We find that in the age range estimated from the H_alpha emission we can explain the red excess in all the 6 super star clusters as due to nebular emission, which at cluster ages around 10 Myr still affects the NIR wavebands substantially. Comment: 10 pages, 6 figures, accepted for publication in ApJ
    The Astrophysical Journal 10/2010; 725(2). DOI:10.1088/0004-637X/725/2/1620 · 6.28 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Star forming dwarf galaxies (SFDGs) have a high gas content and low metallicities, reminiscent of the basic entities in hierarchical galaxy formation scenarios. In the young universe they probably also played a major role in the cosmic reionization. Their abundant presence in the local volume and their youthful character make them ideal objects for detailed studies of the initial stellar mass function (IMF), fundamental star formation processes and its feedback to the interstellar medium. Occasionally we witness SFDGs involved in extreme starbursts, giving rise to strongly elevated production of super star clusters and global superwinds, mechanisms yet to be explored in more detail. SFDGs is the initial state of all dwarf galaxies and the relation to the environment provides us with a key to how different types of dwarf galaxies are emerging. In this review we will put the emphasis on the exotic starburst phase, as it seems less important for present day galaxy evolution but perhaps fundamental in the initial phase of galaxy formation.
    05/2011; DOI:10.1007/978-3-642-22018-0_20
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Context. Galaxies are believed to be the main providers of Lyman continuum (LyC) photons during the early phases of the cosmic reionization. Little is known however, when it comes to escape fractions and the mechanisms behind the leakage. To learn more, one may look at local objects, but so far only one low-z galaxy has shown any signs of emitting LyC radiation. With data from the Far Ultraviolet Spectroscopic Explorer (FUSE), we previously found an absolute escape fraction of ionizing photons (fesc) of 4-10% for the blue compact galaxy Haro 11. However, using a revised version of the reduction pipeline on the same data set, Grimes and collaborators were unable to confirm this and derived an upper limit of fesc &lsim; 2% . Aims: We attempt to determine whether Haro 11 is emitting ionizing radiation to a significant level or not. We also investigate the performance of the reduction pipeline for faint targets such as Haro 11, and introduce a new approach to the background subtraction. Methods: The final version of the reduction pipeline, CalFUSE v3.2, was applied to the same Haro 11 data set as the two previous authors used. At these faint flux levels, both FUSE and CalFUSE are pushed to their limits, and a detailed analysis was undertaken to monitor the performance of the pipeline. We show that non-simultaneous background estimates are insuffient when working with data of low signal-to-noise ratio (S/N), and a new background model was developed based on a direct fit to the detector response. Results: We find that one has to be very careful when using CalFUSE v3.2 on low S/N data, and especially when dealing with sources where signal might originate from off-center regions. Applying the new background fit, a significant signal is detected in the LyC in both detector segments covering these wavelengths. Thus, the leakage is confirmed with a flux density of f900 = 4.0 × 10-15 erg s-1 cm-2 Å-1 (S/N = 4.6), measured on the airglow free regions in the LyC for the night-only data. This corresponds to an absolute escape fraction of ionizing photons from Haro 11 of fesc = 3.3 ± 0.7%. We confirm these results by investigating the two-dimensional data, the count rates, and the residual flux in C ii lambda1036 Å. Appendix A is available in electronic form at http://www.aanda.org
    Astronomy and Astrophysics 08/2011; 532. DOI:10.1051/0004-6361/201015654 · 4.48 Impact Factor
Show more