Chemical evolution of the M82 B fossil starburst


M82 B is an old starburst site located in the eastern part of the M82 disc. We derive the distributions of age and metallicity of the star clusters located in this region of M82 by using theoretical evolutionary population synthesis models. Our analysis is based on the comparison of the BVIJBVIJ photometry obtained by de Grijs et al. (2001) with the colours of single-generation stellar populations. We show that M82 B went through a chemical enrichment phase up to super-solar metallicities around the time of the last close encounter between M82 and its large neighbour galaxy M81. We date and confirm the event triggering the enhanced cluster formation at about 1 Gyr ago. At almost the same time an additional, distinct subpopulation of metal-poor clusters formed in the part of M82 B nearest to the galactic centre. The formation of these peculiar clusters may be related to infall of circumgalactic gas onto M82 B.Comment: 14 pages, accepted for publication in MNRA

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