- [*] The HST census of Nuclear Star Clusters - Statistics and first spectra
- Boeker T., Laine S., van der Marel R.P., Sarzi M., Rix H.-W., Ho L.C.,
- BAAS, in press, 2002 (AAS Meeting 199, 7.05)
- © 2001. The American Astronomical Society.
All Rights Reserved.
We present the results of our HST/WFPC2 I-band survey of a sample of
77 nearby, late-type spiral galaxies with low inclination. The main
purpose of this catalog is to study the frequency and properties of
nuclear star clusters. We show that at least 75% of late-type spirals
harbor a distinct, compact (but resolved), and dominant source at or
very close to their photocenter. From an isophotal analysis, we
confirm that these sources are truly `nuclear' star clusters in
almost all cases. We present the distribution of cluster luminosities
for the full sample, and discuss scenarios for their formation history
and possible impact on the evolution of their host galaxies. In
addition, we present first results from follow-up spectroscopy with
STIS. These observations will reveal the age distribution of nuclear
clusters, and will allow us to discriminate between competing
formation scenarios for nuclear clusters.
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Last modified November 15, 2001.
Roeland van der Marel,