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2004AJ....127.1014S - Astron. J., 127, 1014-1028 (2004/February-0)

The initial mass function and stellar content of NGC 3603.


Abstract (from CDS):

We present UBVRI and Hα photometry of the extremely compact, starburst cluster NGC 3603. Ground-based images, Hubble Space Telescope (HST) archival data, as well as Chandra X-ray data have been used for this study. We present, for the first time, optical color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs) for the stars in the cluster core down to V=22 mag. A well-defined main sequence (MS) as well as low-mass pre-main-sequence (PMS) stars can clearly be seen in the CMDs. This result confirms the finding by Eisenhauer et al. that low-mass stars are forming in the starburst cluster. We also derive an age (1±1 Myr) and distance of the cluster (V0-MV=14.2±0.2 mag, i.e., d=6.9±0.6 kpc). The interstellar reddening shows a minimum value [E(B-V)=1.25 mag] at the core (r≤0'.2) and increases rapidly up to E(B-V)~1.8 mag or even higher with increasing distance from the center, which suggests the presence of a wind-driven cavity near the cluster center as found by Frogel et al. and Clayton. We also determine the radius of the cluster (r~2') from the surface-density profile of bright stars and X-ray sources. To investigate the initial mass function (IMF) of the cluster, we performed a completeness test for the core region. Using the theoretical mass-luminosity relation of MS as well as PMS stars, we derived the IMF of stars imaged with the HST/PC1. The surface density of stars in the core is enormously high and decreases gradually with increasing distance from the center. The slope of the IMF also shows radial variation: fairly flat in the core (Γ=-0.5±0.1 at r≤0'.1) and gradually steepening (Γ=-0.8±0.2 at r=0'.1∼0'.2 and Γ=-1.2±0.2 at r>0'.2 of HST/PC1). The stars in the halo region of NGC 3603 (outside of HST/PC1) seem to be slightly older (age~5 Myr) and presumably formed before the stars in the core.

Abstract Copyright:

Journal keyword(s): Galaxy: Open Clusters and Associations: Individual: NGC Number: NGC 3603 - Stars: Luminosity Function, Mass Function

VizieR on-line data: <Available at CDS (J/AJ/127/1014): table2.dat table3.dat table4.dat table5.dat>

Nomenclature: Tables 2, 4, 5: [SB2004] NNNNN N=26+73+96 among (Nos 96-59713). Table 3: [SB2004] X NN (Nos 1-11).

Simbad objects: 224

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