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Paper: The Magellanic Cloud's Star Cluster Populations: The SMC
Volume: 491, Fifty Years of Wide Field Studies in the Southern Hemisphere: Resolved Stellar Populations in the Galactic Bulge and the Magellanic Clouds
Page: 227
Authors: Piatti, A. E.
Abstract: We present results based on observations carried out with the CTIO 4-m Blanco telescope and the attached MOSAIC II camera of a large sample of unstudied or poorly studied candidate star clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). We first cleaned the color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) of the unavoidable stellar field contamination by taking advantage of a procedure that makes use of variable size CMD cells. In this way, stochastic effects in the cluster CMDs caused by the presence of isolated bright stars and numerous relatively faint field stars, have successfully been eliminated. Our results suggest that a percentage of the studied candidate star clusters do appear to be genuine physical systems. However, the ages previously derived for some of the studied candidate clusters mostly reflect those of the composite stellar populations of the SMC field. Finally, by using the spatial distribution in the SMC of possible non-clusters, we statistically decontaminated the SMC cluster system. We found that there is no clear difference between the expected and observed cluster spatial distributions, but a difference at a 2 sigma level in the central regions would become visible if non-clusters are assumed to be ≈ 20% of the cataloged sample.
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