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[*] The stellar content of nuclear star clusters in spiral galaxies
Boeker T., van der Marel R.P., Gerssen J., Walcher J., Rix H.W., Shields J., Ho L.
in Discoveries and Research Prospects from 6- to 10-Meter-Class Telescopes II., Guhathakurta, P., ed., Proc. SPIE, Vol. 4834, 57, 2003
© 2003. SPIE. All Rights Reserved.

We discuss first results from a spectroscopic survey of nuclear star clusters in nearby, late-type spiral galaxies. The data, obtained with the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph (STIS), allow us to derive cluster ages via stellar population synthesis methods. We present some typical data sets, describe the fitting algorithm, and discuss the results for the 6 objects studied so far. We find that only one nuclear cluster spectrum is dominated by a population older than 1 Gyr. In all cases, the fit is significantly improved by allowing for multiple generations of stars. Although preliminary, these results support the notion that nuclear cluster formation is most likely a repetitive process.

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Last modified September 21, 2003.
Roeland van der Marel, marel@stsci.edu.
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