SCYON Abstract

Received on May 28 2001

Tidally-induced Super Star Clusters in M82

AuthorsR. de Grijs1, R.W. O'Connell2, J.S. Gallagher3
Affiliation1Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK,
2Astronomy Department, University of Virginia, USA,
3Astronomy Department, University of Wisconsin--Madison, USA
To appear inIAU Symposium 207, "Extragalactic Star Clusters", ASP Conf. Proc., eds. Grebel E.K., Geisler D., & Minniti D.


Using new HST imaging, we identify a large, evolved system of super star clusters in a disk region just outside the starburst core in the prototypical starburst galaxy M82, ``M82 B.'' This region has been suspected to be a fossil starburst site in which an intense episode of star formation occurred over 100 Myr ago, which is now confirmed by our derived age distribution. It suggests steady, continuing cluster formation at a modest rate at early times (< 2 Gyr ago), followed by a concentrated formation episode ~ 600 Myr ago and more recent suppression of cluster formation. The peak episode coincides with independent dynamical estimates for the last tidal encounter with M81.