Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 349, 1449-1463 (2004/April-3)
On the determination of age and mass functions of stars in young open star clusters from the analysis of their luminosity functions.
PISKUNOV A.E., BELIKOV A.N., KHARCHENKO N.V., SAGAR R. and SUBRAMANIAM A.
Abstract (from CDS):
We construct the observed luminosity functions of the remote young open clusters NGC 2383, 2384, 4103, 4755, 7510 and Hogg 15 from CCD observations of them. The observed LFs are corrected for field star contamination determined with the help of a Galactic star count model. In the case of Hogg 15 and NGC 2383 we also consider the additional contamination from neighbouring clusters NGC 4609 and 2384, respectively. These corrections provide a realistic pattern of cluster LF in the vicinity of the main-sequence (MS) turn-on point and at fainter magnitudes reveal the so-called H-feature arising as a result of the transition of the pre-MS phase to the MS, which is dependent on the cluster age. The theoretical LFs are constructed representing a cluster population model with continuous star formation for a short time-scale and a power-law initial mass function (IMF), and these are fitted to the observed LF. As a result, we are able to determine for each cluster a set of parameters describing the cluster population (the age, duration of star formation, IMF slope and percentage of field star contamination). It is found that in spite of the non-monotonic behaviour of observed LFs, cluster IMFs can be described as power-law functions with slopes similar to Salpeter's value. The present main-sequence turn-on cluster ages are several times lower than those derived from the fitting of theoretical isochrones to the turn-off region of the upper main sequences.
stars: luminosity function, mass function - open clusters and associations: general
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