SDSSJ103913.70+533029.7: A Super Star Cluster in the Outskirts of a Galaxy Merger

Research paper by G. R. Knapp, C. A. Tremonti, C. M. Rockosi

Indexed on: 31 Oct '05Published on: 31 Oct '05Published in: Astrophysics


We describe the serendipitous discovery in the spectroscopic data of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey of a star-like object, SDSSJ103913.70+533029.7, at a heliocentric radial velocity of +1012 km/s. Its proximity in position and velocity to the spiral galaxy NGC 3310 suggests an association with the galaxy. At this distance, SDSSJ103913.70+533029.7 has the luminosity of a super star cluster and a projected distance of 17 kpc from NGC 3310. Its spectroscopic and photometric properties imply a mass of > 10^6 solar masses and an age close to that of the tidal shells seen around NGC 3310, suggesting that it formed in the event which formed the shells.