The initial mass function and young brown dwarf candidates in NGC 2264. IV. The initial mass function and star formation history.
SUNG H. and BESSELL M.S.
Abstract (from CDS):
We have studied the star formation history and the initial mass function (IMF) using the age and mass derived from spectral energy distribution (SED) fitting and from color-magnitude diagrams (CMDs). We also examined the physical and structural parameters of more than 1000 pre-main-sequence stars in NGC 2264 using the online SED fitting tool (SED fitter) of Robitaille et al. We have compared the physical parameters of central stars from SED fitter and other methods. The temperature of the central star is, in many cases, much higher than that expected from its spectral type. The mass and age from SED fitter are not well matched with those from CMDs. We have made some suggestions to improve the accuracy of temperature estimates in the SED fitter. In most cases, these parameters of individual stars from the SED fitter in a star-forming region (SFR) or in the whole cluster showed nearly no systematic variation with age or with any other relevant parameter. On the other hand, the median properties of stars in NGC 2264 SFRs showed an evident evolutionary effect and were interrelated to each other. Such differences are caused by a larger age spread within an SFR than between them. The cumulative distribution of stellar ages showed a distinct difference among SFRs. A Kolmogorov-Smirnov test gave a very low probability of them being from the same population. The results indicate that star formation in NGC 2264 started at the surface region (Halo and Field regions) about 6-7 Myr ago, propagated into the molecular cloud and finally triggered the recent star formation in the Spokes cluster. The kind of sequential star formation that started in the low-density surface region (Halo and Field regions) implies that star formation in NGC 2264 was triggered by an external source. The IMF of NGC 2264 was determined in two different ways. One method used the stellar mass from the SED fitting tool, the other used the stellar mass from CMDs. The first IMF showed a distinct peak at m ~ 2 M☉, but the second did not. We attribute the peak as an artifact of the SED fitting tool because there is no such IMF with a peak at m ~ 2 M☉. The slope of the IMF of NGC 2264 for massive stars (log m ≥ 0.5) is -1.7±0.1, which is somewhat steeper than the so-called standard Salpeter-Kroupa IMF. We also present data for 79 young brown dwarf candidates.
open clusters and associations: individual: NGC 2264 - stars: formation - stars: luminosity function, mass function