of NGC 3310
Image Credit: G. Meurer (JHU)
starbursts last much less than the age of the universe,
it is difficult to directly estimate burst durations.
This is because the luminosity of the burst is always
dominated by the youngest populations. We are tackling
this problem by using the clusters within the starbursts
as an archaeological record of the burst history.
Clusters can safely be assumed to have formed over
a very short duration, unlike the the entire starbursts.
Since such clusters fade and redden with age in
a very predictable manner one can reconstruct their
age distribution from their color distribution."
more about Starburst Galaxies