We present the first Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) observations of young star clusters in the colliding/merging galaxy UGC 10214. The observations were made as part of the Early Release Observation (ERO) program for the newly installed ACS during service mission SM3B for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). Many young star clusters can be identified in the tails of UGC 10214, with ages ranging from ∼3 to 10 Myr. The extreme blue V-I(F606W-F814W) colors of the star clusters found in the tail of UGC 10214 can only be explained if strong emission lines are included with a young stellar population. This has been confirmed by our Keck spectroscopy of some of these bright blue stellar knots. The most luminous and largest of these blue knots has an absolute magnitude of Mv = - 14.45, with a half-light radius of 161 pc, and if it is a single star cluster, it would qualify as a super star cluster (SSC). Alternatively, it could be a superposition of multiple scaled OB associations or clusters. With an estimated age of ∼4-5 Myr, its derived mass is less than 1.3 × 106 M⊙. Thus, the young stellar knot is unbound and will not evolve into a normal globular cluster. The bright blue clusters and associations are much younger than the dynamical age of the tail, providing strong evidence that star formation occurs in the tail long after it was ejected. UGC 10214 provides a nearby example of processes that contributed to the formation of halos and intracluster media in the distant and younger universe.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science