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Global Evolutionary Effects in the Magellanic Clouds

  • James Lequeux (a1)

Abstract

Following Larson and Tinsley the integrated colours of the MCs from the UV to the red can be used to obtain the ratio of the present rate of star formation to the total amount of stars formed. Other tracers of recent star formation (number of bright stars, of supernova remnants, Hα emission, etc…) will be used to determine the present rate of star formation and to obtain some information on the initial mass function. The recent (t < a few 107 years) history of star formation in the MCs will then be discussed. Finally, it is found that the ratio present rate/total amount of stars ever formed is of the order of 0.1 Gyr−1 for both Clouds, implying a rather uniform average rate of star formation if the Cloud ages are the order of 1010 years. The results will be confronted with the metallicity-age relation and the age distribution of stars and clusters.

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