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Mass segregation in young compact clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud - III. Implications for the initial mass function

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Mass segregation in young compact clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud - III. Implications for the initial mass function

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Título Mass segregation in young compact clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud - III. Implications for the initial mass function
Autor Grijs, Richard de
Gilmore, Gerard Fitzgerald
Mackey, Alasdair Dougal
Wilkinson, Mark I.
Beaulieu, Sylvie F.
Johnson, Rachel A.
Santiago, Basilio Xavier
Abstract The distribution of core radii of rich clusters in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) systematically increases in both upper limit and spread with increasing cluster age. Cluster-to-cluster variations in the stellar initial mass function (IMF) have been suggested as an explanation.We discuss the implications of the observed degree of mass segregation in our sample clusters for the shape of the initial mass function. Our results are based on Hubble Space Telescope/WFPC2 observations of six rich star clusters in the LMC, selected to include three pairs of clusters of similar age, metallicity and distance from the LMC centre, and exhibiting a large spread in core radii between the clusters in each pair. All clusters show clear evidence of mass segregation: (i) their luminosity function slopes steepen with increasing cluster radius, and (ii) the brighter stars are characterized by smaller core radii. For all sample clusters, both the slope of the luminosity function in the cluster centres and the degree of mass segregation are similar to each other, within observational errors of a few tenths of power-law slope fits to the data. This implies that their initial mass functions must have been very similar, down to ~ 0.8–1.0 Mʘ. We therefore rule out variations in the IMF of the individual sample clusters as the main driver of the increasing spread of cluster core radii with cluster age.
Contido em Monthly notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Oxford. Vol. 337, no. 2 (Dec. 2002), p. 597-608
Assunto Evolucao estelar
Massa estelar
Radiação estelar
[en] Galaxies: star clusters
[en] Magellanic clouds
[en] Stars: luminosity function, mass function
Origem Estrangeiro
Tipo Artigo de periódico
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10183/89973
Arquivos Descrição Formato
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