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Session 76 - Star Formation in Galaxies.
Display session, Friday, January 09
We use Hubble Space Telescope FOC and WFPC2 ultraviolet (UV) and optical images to examine the star formation history and properties of the interacting galaxy system NGC 1741 in the Hickson Compact Group 31. The high spatial resolution afforded by HST has allowed us to identify a large number of starburst knots, or ``super star clusters'' (SSCs), in the starburst regions of this system. Photometry of these SSCs in the UV and optical bands indicates that these objects have ages ranging from a few Myr to \approx 100 Myr, and masses between 10^4 and 10^6 M_ødot. The estimated ages are confirmed by a spectral synthesis analysis for one knot for which we have obtained a UV spectrum. The V-band luminosity function of the SSCs is well represented by a power law with an index of -1.85, with no evidence of a turnover brighter than the completeness limit. These properties are in good agreement with those found for SSCs in other starburst galaxies. Our results support the suggestion that some of these SSCs may be extremely young globular clusters formed in a relatively recent starburst episode which has been triggered by a merger event.
Program listing for Friday