PRE-main-sequence stellar populations across shapley constellation III. I. Photometric analysis and identification

Dimitrios A. Gouliermis, Andrew E. Dolphin, Massimo Robberto, Robert A. Gruendl, You Hua Chu, Mario Gennaro, Thomas Henning, Michael Rosa, Nicola Da Rio, Wolfgang Brandner, Martino Romaniello, Guido De Marchi, Nino Panagia, Hans Zinnecker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present our investigation of pre-main-sequence (PMS) stellar populations in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) from imaging with Hubble Space Telescope Wide-Field Planetary Camera 2. Our targets of interest are four star-forming regions located at the periphery of the super-giant shell LMC 4 (Shapley Constellation III). The PMS stellar content of the regions is revealed through the differential Hess diagrams and the observed color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs). Further statistical analysis of stellar distributions along cross sections of the faint part of the CMDs allowed the quantitative assessment of the PMS stars census, and the isolation of faint PMS stars as the true low-mass stellar members of the regions. These distributions are found to be well represented by a double-Gaussian function, the first component of which represents the main-sequence field stars and the second the native PMS stars of each region. Based on this result, a cluster membership probability was assigned to each PMS star according to its CMD position. The higher extinction in the region LH 88 did not allow the unambiguous identification of its native stellar population. The CMD distributions of the PMS stars with the highest membership probability in the regions LH 60, LH 63, and LH 72 exhibit an extraordinary similarity among the regions, suggesting that these stars share common characteristics, as well as common recent star formation history. Considering that the regions are located at different areas of the edge of LMC 4, this finding suggests that star formation along the super-giant shell may have occurred almost simultaneously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number137
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Volume738
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 10 2011

Keywords

  • HertzsprungRussell and CM diagrams
  • Hiiregions
  • Magellanic Clouds
  • open clusters and associations: individual (LH60, LH63, LH72, LH88)
  • stars: formation
  • stars: pre-main sequence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

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