The range of variation of the mass of the most massive star in stellar clusters derived from 35 million Monte Carlo simulations.
POPESCU B. and HANSON M.M.
Abstract (from CDS):
A growing fraction of simple stellar population models, in an aim to create more realistic simulations capable of including stochastic variation in their outputs, begin their simulations with a distribution of discrete stars following a power-law function of masses. Careful attention is needed to create a correctly sampled initial mass function (IMF), and here we provide a solid mathematical method, called MASSCLEAN IMF Sampling, for doing so. We use our method to perform 10 million MASSCLEAN Monte Carlo stellar cluster simulations to determine the most massive star in a mass distribution as a function of the total mass of the cluster. We find that a maximum mass range is predicted, not a single maximum mass. This range is (1) dependent on the total mass of the cluster and (2) independent of an upper stellar mass limit, Mlimit, for unsaturated clusters and emerges naturally from our IMF sampling method. We then turn our analysis around, starting with our new database of 25 million simulated clusters, to constrain the highest mass star from the observed integrated colors of a sample of 40 low-mass Large Magellanic Cloud stellar clusters of known age and mass. Finally, we present an analytical description of the maximum mass range of the most massive star as a function of the cluster's total mass and present a new Mmax-Mclusterrelation.
open clusters and associations: general - galaxies: clusters: general - methods: analytical