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The photometric characterization of M33 star clusters is far from complete.
In this paper, we present homogeneous UBVRI photometry of 708 star clusters and cluster candidates in M33 based on archival images from the Local Group Galaxies Survey, which covers 0.8 deg along the galaxy's major axis.
At present, the most comprehensive and widely used star cluster catalog is that of Sarajedini & Mancone (2007), which combines data on almost all M33 star clusters published in the literature, including information on their photometry, ages, metallicities, and masses. Although their observations improved the spatial coverage of the M33 disk, this catalog is still incomplete for the entire disk.
At a distance of 847 ± 60 kpc—equivalent to a distance modulus of ( = 24.64 ± 0.15 mag (Galleti et al.
2004)—M33 (also known as the Triangulum Galaxy) is the third largest spiral galaxy in the Local Group of galaxies.
Our photometry includes 387, 563, 616, 580, and 478 objects in the UBVRI bands, respectively, of which 276, 405, 430, 457, and 363 do not have previously published UBVRI photometry.
Our photometry is consistent with previous measurements (where available) in all filters.
Since star clusters represent an important component of the galaxies with which they are associated, studies of star clusters' stellar populations and age distributions can provide clues to the formation and evolution of their host galaxies.
In addition, since populous star clusters are much more luminous than individual stars, they are usually much easier to observe and study.
The fraction of open to globular clusters is highest in the Milky Way and lowest in M31.
Our comparisons of the cluster ages, masses, and metallicities show that our results are basically in agreement with previous studies (where objects in common are available); differences can be traced back to differences in the models adopted, the fitting methods used, and stochastic sampling effects.