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Astron. Astrophys. 346, 778-784 (1999)

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A comparative study of the spatial distributions of Cepheids and star clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud

Paolo Battinelli 1 and Yuri N. Efremov 2

1 Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, Viale del Parco Mellini 86, I-00136 Roma, Italy
2 Sternberg Astronomical Institute, Moscow, 119899, Russia

Received 9 December 1998 / Accepted 8 April 1999


A new simple method for the comparison of two-dimensional distributions is elaborated and applied to the observed spatial distributions of Cepheids and open clusters in the LMC. This method is particularly suited to pick out the clusterings within non-uniform fields. The comparative study of the spatial distributions for objects with known ages provides useful hints on the dominant mode of large scale star formation. We found that only one clump, out of four evident groups of open clusters coeval with the observed Cepheids (i.e. logt[FORMULA]7.5[FORMULA]8.5) coincides with a local density enhancement of Cepheids. A relation between the age range inside a clump and its size is found; this is consistent with the theory of star formation in a turbulent medium.

Key words: stars: formation – stars: variables: Cepheids – galaxies: Magellanic Clouds – galaxies: star clusters

Send offprint requests to: battinel@oarhp1.rm.astro.it

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1999

Online publication: June 17, 1999