Near-infrared photometry of four stellar clusters in the small Magellanic cloud

A. Mucciarelli, L. Origlia, Claudia Maraston, F. Ferraro

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Abstract

We present high-quality J, H, and Ks photometry of four Small Magellanic Cloud stellar clusters with intermediate ages in the 1-7 Gyr range (namely NGC 339, 361, 416, and 419). We obtained deep color-magnitude diagrams to study the evolved sequences and provide a detailed census of the red giant branch (RGB), asymptotic giant branch (AGB), and carbon star populations in each cluster and their contribution to the total cluster light. We find that in the ~5-7 Gyr old clusters AGB stars account for ~6% of the total light in the Ks band, carbon stars are lacking, and RGB stars account for ~45% of the total bolometric luminosity. These empirical findings are in good agreement with the theoretical predictions. Finally, we derived photometric metallicities computed by using the properties of the RGB and find an iron content of [Fe/H] = –1.18, –1.08, –0.99, and –0.96 dex for NGC 339, 361, 416, and 419, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)288-294
Number of pages7
JournalThe Astrophysical Journal
Volume690
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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