Age dating a starburst: Gemini/CIRPASS observations of the core of M 83

S.D. Ryder, J. Knapen, L.M. Mazzuca, R.G. Sharp, I.R. Parry

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    Abstract

    The circumnuclear starburst in NGC 5236 (M 83) has been studied photometrically by Harris et al. (2001) using HST/WFPC2 images in the broad-band near-UV and optical, as well as narrow-band H® and H¯ to derive colors and line equivalent widths for 45 clusters. Despite the excellent spatial resolution of these observations, optical photometric analyses such as this su®er from: (i) patchy (and not easily quanti¯able) dust extinction; (ii) the fact that the reddening vector parallels the evolutionary tracks in a two-color diagram; and (iii) selection e®ects, which tend to exclude the very youngest (t < 5 Myr) clusters which have strong emission lines, but only a weak stellar continuum. Additionally, it is not possible to distinguish an instantaneous burst of star formation from a constant star formation rate, on the basis of broad-band colors alone. [opening paragraph]
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationIn: The Neutral ISM in Starburst Galaxies - ASP Conference Series 320
    PublisherAstronomical Society of the Pacific
    Pages311
    ISBN (Print)1-58381-182-6, 978-1-58381-255-6
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

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