Nearby galaxies in more distant contexts

Michael Eskew, Dennis Zaritsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We use published reconstructions of the star formation history (SFH) of the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), Small Magellanic Cloud, and NGC 300 from the analysis of resolved stellar populations to investigate where such galaxies might land on well-known extragalactic diagnostic plots over the galaxies' lifetime (assuming that nothing other than their stellar populations change). For example, we find that the evolution of these galaxies implies a complex evolution in the Tully-Fisher relation with look-back time and that the observed scatter is consistent with excursions these galaxies take as their stellar populations evolve. We find that the growth of stellar mass is weighted to early times, despite the strongly star-forming current nature of the three systems. Lastly, we find that these galaxies can take circuitous paths across the color-magnitude diagram. For example, it is possible, within the constraints provided by the current determination of its SFH, that the LMC reached the red sequence at intermediate age prior to ending back up on the blue cloud at the current time. Unfortunately, this behavior happens at sufficiently early times that our resolved SFH is crude and insufficiently constraining to convincingly demonstrate that this was the actual evolutionary path. The limited sample size precludes any general conclusions, but we present these as examples how we can bridge the study of resolved populations and the more distant universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Color figure
  • Evolution Online-only material:
  • Galaxies:

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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