Dynamical mass estimates for five young massive stellar clusters.
LARSEN S.S., BRODIE J.P. and HUNTER D.A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have obtained high-dispersion spectra for four massive star clusters in the dwarf irregular galaxies NGC 4214 and NGC 4449, using the HIRES spectrograph on the Keck I telescope. Combining the velocity dispersions of the clusters with structural parameters and photometry from images taken with the Hubble Space Telescope, we estimate mass-to-light (M/L) ratios and compare these with simple stellar population models in order to constrain the stellar mass functions (MFs) of the clusters. For all clusters we find M/L values that are similar to or slightly higher than for a Kroupa MF and thereby rule out any MF that is deficient in low-mass stars compared with a Kroupa-type MF. The four clusters have virial masses ranging between 2.1x105 and 1.5x106M☉, half-light radii between 3.0 and 5.2 pc, estimated core densities in the range 2x103 to 2x105M☉/pc3, and ages between 200 and 800 Myr. We also present new high-dispersion near-infrared spectroscopy for a luminous young (∼15 Myr) cluster in the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6946, which we have previously observed with HIRES. The new measurements in the infrared agree well with previous estimates of the velocity dispersion for this cluster, yielding a mass of about 1.7x106M☉. Including an improved estimate of the reddening toward this cluster, the new data yield an M/L in excellent agreement with a Kroupa-type MF also for this cluster. The properties of the clusters studied here are all consistent with the clusters being young versions of the old globular clusters found around all major galaxies.
Galaxies: Irregular - Galaxies: Star Clusters