Tracing Stellar Population Distribution by Age-dating Star Clusters in NGC 1097

Sunday, 15 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Loreto D. Barcos-Munoz, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA
As part of the GSTAR collaboration including high school students: Catie Grebe, David Hatter, Doyeop Kim, Julianne Swope, and Brendan Ventura; graduate mentors and science principal investigators, we present preliminary analysis of optical observations of the nearby spiral barred galaxy NGC 1097. This galaxy presents a wide range of environments  - including a circumnuclear ring, a strong bar and spiral arms, among other environments - making it ideal for studying the distribution of star cluster populations, and rates of star formation, as a function of environment. We identify the different star cluster populations by age dating them (up to a few hundred Myr). We do so by analyzing new high resolution data from Hubble Space Telescope bands U, B, V, I and Hα filter, and complementing them with existing I band and Hα observations of NGC 1097. We first identify clusters in dynamically different regions and perform the corresponding photometry. With the color and Hα flux of these clusters in hand, we are able to place them in a color-color diagram and compare them to stellar population models from Bruzal & Charlot (2011), which complemented with their Hα strength allow us to estimate the age of these clusters. We present the corresponding color-color diagrams and the star cluster population distribution throughout the different physical conditions of the interstellar medium in NGC 1097.