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The stellar IMF of Galactic clusters and its evolution

The stellar IMF of Galactic clusters and its evolution

Publication date: 02 May 2005

Authors: De Marchi, G., et al.

Journal: IMF at 50
Volume: 327
Page: 77
Year: 2005

Copyright: Kluwer Academic Publisher

We show that one can obtain a good fit to the measured main sequence mass function (MF) of a large sample of Galactic clusters (young and old) with a tapered Salpeter power law distribution function with an exponential truncation. The average value of the power law index is very close to Salpeter (~2.3), whereas the characteristic mass is in the range 0.1 - 0.5 Msolar and does not seem to vary in a systematic way with the present cluster parameters such as metal abundance and central concentration. However, a remarkable correlation with age is seen, in that the peak mass of young clusters increases with it. This trend does not extend to globular clusters, whose peak mass is firmly at ~0.35 Msolar. This correlation is due to the onset of mass segregation following early dynamical interactions in the loose cluster cores. Differences between globular and younger clusters may depend on the initial environment of star formation, which in turn affects their total mass.

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