The star clusters of the large magellanic cloud: Structural parameters

Felicia Werchan, Dennis Zaritsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


We present and analyze the radial luminosity profiles of a sample of 1066 stellar clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). By design, this study closely follows the compilation by Hill & Zaritsky of the structural parameters of stellar clusters in the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC). Both King and Elson-Fall-Freeman model profiles are fit to V-band surface brightness profiles measured from the Magellanic Cloud Photometric Survey images. We tabulate the concentration, central surface brightness, tidal radii, 90% enclosed luminosity radii (r 90), and local background luminosity density. Over two-thirds of the clusters in the sample are adequately fit by one or both of these models. One notable and systematic exception, as in the SMC, is those clusters that lack a central brightness concentration, the "ring" clusters. While the bulk properties of the clusters are similar between the LMC and SMC populations, we find that the LMC lacks clusters that are as large, either in terms of core radii or r 90, as the largest in the SMC, perhaps a signature of larger tidal stresses in the LMC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number48
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • galaxies
  • general - Magellanic Clouds
  • general - globular clusters
  • star clusters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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