The origin of young star clusters represents a major challenge for modern stellar astrophysics. While stellar rotation partially explains the colour spread observed along main-sequence turn-offs, i.e. where stars leave the main-sequence after the exhaustion of hydrogen in their core, and the multiple main sequences in the colour-magnitude diagrams of stellar systems younger than approximately 2 Gyr, it appears that an age difference may still be required to fulfill the observational constraints. Here we introduce an alternative approach that exploits the main-sequence turn-on, i.e. the point alongside the colour-magnitude diagram where pre-main-sequence stars join the main-sequence, to disentangle between the effects of stellar rotation and age to assess the presence, or lack thereof, of prolonged star formation in the approximately 40-Myr-old cluster NGC1818. Our results provide evidence for a fast star formation, confined within 8 Myr, thus excluding age differences as responsible for the extended main-sequence turn-offs, and leading the way to alternative observational perspectives in the exploration of stellar populations in young clusters.

NGC1818 unveils the origin of the extended main-sequence turn-off in young Magellanic Clouds clusters

Cignoni, Michele;
2022-01-01

Abstract

The origin of young star clusters represents a major challenge for modern stellar astrophysics. While stellar rotation partially explains the colour spread observed along main-sequence turn-offs, i.e. where stars leave the main-sequence after the exhaustion of hydrogen in their core, and the multiple main sequences in the colour-magnitude diagrams of stellar systems younger than approximately 2 Gyr, it appears that an age difference may still be required to fulfill the observational constraints. Here we introduce an alternative approach that exploits the main-sequence turn-on, i.e. the point alongside the colour-magnitude diagram where pre-main-sequence stars join the main-sequence, to disentangle between the effects of stellar rotation and age to assess the presence, or lack thereof, of prolonged star formation in the approximately 40-Myr-old cluster NGC1818. Our results provide evidence for a fast star formation, confined within 8 Myr, thus excluding age differences as responsible for the extended main-sequence turn-offs, and leading the way to alternative observational perspectives in the exploration of stellar populations in young clusters.
2022
Cordoni, Giacomo; Milone, Antonino P.; Marino, Anna F.; Cignoni, Michele; Lagioia, Edoardo P.; Tailo, Marco; Carlos, Marília; Dondoglio, Emanuele; Jang, Sohee; Mohandasan, Anjana; Legnardi, Maria V.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1160492
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