Astronomers search for star cluster KMHK 1762 in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Astronomers search for star cluster KMHK 1762 in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Image of about 4 inches in diameter in the g-band centered at KMHK 1762. The red circle indicates the star cluster’s radius of 0.5 inches. Credit: Gatto et al., 2022.

Using the VLT Survey Telescope (VST), European astronomers have investigated a strange star cluster in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), known as KMHK 1762. The results of the study were published July 19 at

KMHK 1762 (also known as OHSC 37) is a star cluster in the LMC. The mineral mass has a level of -0.91 and is estimated to be about 2.7 billion years old. However, CMD analysis of KMHK 1762 indicates that the block may be older than currently estimated.

A team of astronomers led by Massimiliano Gatto of the Capodimonte Astronomical Observatory in Naples, Italy, investigated this problem, assuming that KMHK 1762 may be a rare case of a star cluster in the so-called LMC age gap. Previous LMC observations found that this galaxy shows an almost complete absence of star clusters between 4 and 10 billion years old. Within this age gap, only two confirmed star clusters have been identified so far.

Gatto’s team analyzed deep optical photometry of KMHK 1762 obtained using VST as part of the Yes, Magellanic Clouds Again (YMCA) survey. The study was supplemented with data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite.

“In this letter, we report the result of our new study of KMHK 1762 SC [star cluster]based on deep and accurate YMCA photometry, complete with parallax and appropriate motions (PMs) from Gaia Early Data Release 3 (EDR3), the researchers wrote.

According to the new study, the relevant age of KMHK 1762 should be greater than previously thought. Based on shallow photometry, astronomers estimate that this group is about 5.5 billion years old. This means that KMHK 1762 is the third star cluster in the LMC age gap, along with clusters ESO121-03 and KMHK 1592.

Observations found that KMHK 1762 has a redness of about 0.08 Mag and a metallicity of -0.65. CMD shows a group of stars identified as main sequence stars (MSTO), semi-giant branch (SGB), as well as a few stars in the red giant branch (RGB) and in the red giant branch (RC).

The findings of the paper’s authors raise questions about the existence of a star cluster age gap in the LMC. They suggest that the increasing number of confirmed or suspected populations formed in the age gap period suggests that the age gap may be an observational bias, due to the combination of shallow photometry and limited investigation of the outer regions of the LMC.

“In fact, most of the work devoted to searching for undiscovered star clusters focusing on the central regions of the LMC leaving the suburbs (eg d > 4 kpc) completely unexplored has been done on the basis of shallow photometric surveys, allowing researchers to detect only clusters Asterisks smaller than -1-1.5 geys”.

Italian astronomers discover a new star cluster

more information:
M. Gatto et al., KMHK 1762: Another star cluster in the lifetime gap of the Large Magellanic Cloud. arXiv: 2207.09478v1 [astro-ph.GA]

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