PopStar I: evolutionary synthesis model description (Englisch)

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We present new evolutionary synthesis models for simple stellar populations for a wide range of ages and metallicities. The models are based on the Padova isochrones. The core of the spectral library is provided by the medium resolution Lejeune et al. atmosphere models. These spectra are complemented by Non Local Thermodynamic Equilibrium (NLTE) atmosphere models for hot stars that have an important impact on the stellar cluster's ionizing spectra: O, B and WR stellar spectra at the early ages, and spectra of post asymptotic giant branch stars and planetary nebulae, at intermediate and old ages. At young ages, our models compare well with other existing models, but we find that the inclusion of the nebular continuum, not considered in several other models, significantly reddens the integrated colours of very young stellar populations. This is consistent with the results of spectral synthesis codes particularly devised for the study of starburst galaxies. At intermediate and old ages, the agreement with the literature model is good and, in particular, we reproduce the observed colours of star clusters in Large Magellanic Cloud well. Given the ability to produce good integrated spectra from the far-ultraviolet to the infrared at any age, we consider that our models are particularly suited for the study of high-redshift galaxies.