Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc., 453, 3278-3287 (2015/November-1)
Back to the future: estimating initial globular cluster masses from their present-day stellar mass functions.
WEBB J.J. and LEIGH N.W.C.
Abstract (from CDS):
We use N-body simulations to model the 12 Gyr evolution of a suite of star clusters with identical initial stellar mass functions over a range of initial cluster masses, sizes, and orbits. Our models reproduce the distribution of present-day global stellar mass functions that is observed in the Milky Way globular cluster population. We find that the slope of a star cluster's stellar mass function is strongly correlated with the fraction of mass that the cluster has lost, independent of the cluster's initial mass, and nearly independent of its orbit and initial size. Thus, the mass function-initial mass relation can be used to determine a Galactic cluster's initial total stellar mass, if the initial stellarmass function is known. We apply the mass function-initial mass relation presented here to determine the initial stellar masses of 33 Galactic globular clusters, assuming an universal Kroupa initial mass function. Our study suggests that globular clusters had initial masses that were on average a factor of 4.5 times larger than their present-day mass, with three clusters showing evidence for being 10 times more massive at birth.