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Legacy extraGalactic UV survey with the Hubble space telescope : stellar cluster catalogs and first insights into cluster formation and evolution in NGC 628.

Adamo, A. and Ryon, J. E. and Messa, M. and Kim, H. and Grasha, K. and Cook, D. O. and Calzetti, D. and Lee, J. C. and Whitmore, B. C. and Elmegreen, B. G. and Ubeda, L. and Smith, L. J. and Bright, S. N. and Runnholm, A. and Andrews, J. E. and Fumagalli, M. and Gouliermis, D. A. and Kahre, L. and Nair, P. and Thilker, D. and Walterbos, R. and Wofford, A. and Aloisi, A. and Ashworth, G. and Brown, T. M. and Chandar, R. and Christian, C. and Cignoni, M. and Clayton, G. C. and Dale, D. A. and de Mink, S. E. and Dobbs, C. and Elmegreen, D. M. and Evans, A. S. and Gallagher III, J. S. and Grebel, E. K. and Herrero, A. and Hunter, D. A. and Johnson, K. E. and Kennicutt, R. C. and Krumholz, M. R. and Lennon, D. and Levay, K. and Martin, C. and Nota, A. and Östlin, G. and Pellerin, A. and Prieto, J. and Regan, M. W. and Sabbi, E. and Sacchi, E. and Schaerer, D. and Schiminovich, D. and Shabani, F. and Tosi, M. and Van Dyk, S. D. and Zackrisson, E. (2017) 'Legacy extraGalactic UV survey with the Hubble space telescope : stellar cluster catalogs and first insights into cluster formation and evolution in NGC 628.', Astrophysical journal., 841 (2). p. 841.


We report the large effort that is producing comprehensive high-level young star cluster (YSC) catalogs for a significant fraction of galaxies observed with the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS) Hubble treasury program. We present the methodology developed to extract cluster positions, verify their genuine nature, produce multiband photometry (from NUV to NIR), and derive their physical properties via spectral energy distribution fitting analyses. We use the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 628 as a test case for demonstrating the impact that LEGUS will have on our understanding of the formation and evolution of YSCs and compact stellar associations within their host galaxy. Our analysis of the cluster luminosity function from the UV to the NIR finds a steepening at the bright end and at all wavelengths suggesting a dearth of luminous clusters. The cluster mass function of NGC 628 is consistent with a power-law distribution of slopes $\sim -2$ and a truncation of a few times 105 ${M}_{\odot }$. After their formation, YSCs and compact associations follow different evolutionary paths. YSCs survive for a longer time frame, confirming their being potentially bound systems. Associations disappear on timescales comparable to hierarchically organized star-forming regions, suggesting that they are expanding systems. We find mass-independent cluster disruption in the inner region of NGC 628, while in the outer part of the galaxy there is little or no disruption. We observe faster disruption rates for low mass (≤104 ${M}_{\odot }$) clusters, suggesting that a mass-dependent component is necessary to fully describe the YSC disruption process in NGC 628.

Item Type:Article
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Publisher statement:© 2017. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.
Date accepted:30 April 2017
Date deposited:20 June 2017
Date of first online publication:05 June 2017
Date first made open access:20 June 2017

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