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Published April 1999 | Published
Journal Article Open

Deep Hubble Space Telescope observations of blue star clusters in NGC 3597


We have analyzed HST/WFPC2 images of NGC 3597 and find ~700 compact objects surrounding the galaxy with an average (B-R)_0~0.6. We propose that the majority of these objects are young globular clusters. They have a spread in colors that is consistent with that expected for a population of young clusters with a common age and spread induced by photometric errors and reddening within NGC 3597. If these objects were similar to the Galactic globular cluster system seen at a younger age, we would predict a turnover in the luminosity function at B~23. However, we find that the luminosity function for the clusters is increasing to the limits of our photometry (B~27).

Additional Information

© 1999 American Astronomical Society. Received 1998 December 1; accepted 1999 January 12. This work was supported in part by NASA under contract NAS 7-918 to J. P. L. and a grant to M. C. from the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium.

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