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Durham University

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Publication details for Prof Ray Sharples

Miah, J.A., Sharples, R.M. & Cho, J. (2015). Young star clusters in the interacting galaxies of Hickson Compact Group 90. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 447(4): 3639-3648.

Author(s) from Durham


Deep images of Hickson Compact Group 90 (HCG 90) have been obtained using the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope. We report results for star clusters observed in the interacting pair of galaxies NGC 7174 and NGC 7176. We present magnitude and colour distributions for the observed cluster population and find that the majority of objects show colours similar to intermediate/old age (>1 Gyr) globular clusters. However, a significant population of blue star clusters are also observed which may have formed from the tidal interaction currently occurring between the two galaxies. We find luminosity function turnover magnitudes of [Math Processing Error] and [Math Processing Error] for the g and z bands, respectively, implying distances of Dg = 28.8 ± 2.6 Mpc and Dz = 34.7 ± 3.1 Mpc to these galaxies, using the globular cluster luminosity function method. Lastly, we determine a total cluster population of approximately NGC ≃ 212 ± 10 over all magnitudes and a low specific frequency of SN ∼ 0.6 ± 0.1 for this pair of interacting elliptical and spiral galaxies. The small globular cluster population is likely due to tidal interactions taking place between the two galaxies which may have stripped many progenitor clusters away and formed the diffuse light observed at the core of HCG 90.