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Search for star cluster age gradients across spiral arms of three LEGUS disc galaxies

Shabani, F. and Grebel, E. K. and Pasquali, A. and D’Onghia, E. and Gallagher, J. S., III and Adamo, A. and Messa, M. and Elmegreen, B. G. and Dobbs, C. and Gouliermis, D. A. and Calzetti, D. and Grasha, K. and Elmegreen, D. M. and Cignoni, M. and Dale, D. A. and Aloisi, A. and Smith, L. J. and Tosi, M. and Thilker, D. A. and Lee, J. C. and Sabbi, E. and Kim, H. and Pellerin, A. (2018) Search for star cluster age gradients across spiral arms of three LEGUS disc galaxies. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 478 (3). pp. 3590-3604. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/sty1277.

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One of the main theories for explaining the formation of spiral arms in galaxies is the stationary density wave theory. This theory predicts the existence of an age gradient across the arms. We use the stellar cluster catalogues of the galaxies NGC 1566, M51a, and NGC 628 from the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS) program. In order to test for the possible existence of an age sequence across the spiral arms, we quantified the azimuthal offset between star clusters of different ages in our target galaxies. We found that NGC 1566, a grand-design spiral galaxy with bisymmetric arms and a strong bar, shows a significant age gradient across the spiral arms that appear to be consistent with the prediction of the stationary density wave theory. In contrast, M51a with its two well-defined spiral arms and a weaker bar does not show an age gradient across the arms. In addition, a comparison with non-LEGUS star cluster catalogues for M51a yields similar results. We believe that the spiral structure of M51a is not the result of a stationary density wave with a fixed pattern speed. Instead, tidal interactions could be the dominant mechanism for the formation of spiral arms. We also found no offset in the azimuthal distribution of star clusters with different ages across the weak spiral arms of NGC 628.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Grebel, E. K.0000-0002-1891-3794
Gallagher, J. S., III0000-0001-8608-0408
Adamo, A.0000-0002-8192-8091
Messa, M.0000-0003-1427-2456
Elmegreen, B. G.0000-0002-1723-6330
Gouliermis, D. A.0000-0002-2763-0075
Calzetti, D.0000-0002-5189-8004
Grasha, K.0000-0002-3247-5321
Elmegreen, D. M.0000-0002-1392-3520
Cignoni, M.0000-0001-6291-6813
Dale, D. A.0000-0002-5782-9093
Aloisi, A.0000-0003-4137-882X
Smith, L. J.0000-0002-0806-168X
Tosi, M.0000-0002-0986-4759
Thilker, D. A.0000-0002-8528-7340
Lee, J. C.0000-0002-2278-9407
Sabbi, E.0000-0003-2954-7643
Pellerin, A.0000-0003-3588-8372
Additional Information:© 2018 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2018 May 11. Received 2018 April 23; in original form 2018 January 13. Published: 16 May 2018. This work is based on observations made with the NASA/ESA HST, obtained at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under NASA contract NAS 5-26555. These observations are associated with program 13364. Support for Program 13364 was provided by NASA through a grant from the Space Telescope Science Institute. This research has made use of the NED, which is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. AA acknowledges the support of the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) and the Swedish National Space Board. DAG kindly acknowledges financial support by the German Research Foundation (DFG) through programme GO 1659/3-2.
Group:Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC)
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NASANAS 5-26555
Space Telescope Science InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Swedish National Space Board (SNSB)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)GO 1659/3-2
Subject Keywords:galaxies: individual: NGC 1566, M51, NGC 628 – galaxies: spiral – galaxies: structure
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180829-111309165
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:F Shabani, E K Grebel, A Pasquali, E D’Onghia, J S Gallagher, A Adamo, M Messa, B G Elmegreen, C Dobbs, D A Gouliermis, D Calzetti, K Grasha, D M Elmegreen, M Cignoni, D A Dale, A Aloisi, L J Smith, M Tosi, D A Thilker, J C Lee, E Sabbi, H Kim, A Pellerin; Searchfor star cluster age gradients across spiral arms of three LEGUS disc galaxies, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 478, Issue 3, 21 August 2018, Pages 3590–3604,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:89278
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Aug 2018 20:28
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 00:34

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