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The initial luminosity and mass functions of Galactic open clusters

  • Hans Zinnecker (a1), Anatoly E. Piskunov (a2), Nina V. Kharchenko (a3), Siegfried Röser (a4), Elena Schilbach (a4) and Ralf-Dieter Scholz (a1)...
Abstract
Abstract

We have derived a complete magnitude-limited sample of 440 Galactic open clusters in the solar neighborhood, with integrated V-magnitude brighter than 8 mag. This sample can be used to infer the present-day luminosity and mass functions of open clusters up to a given age; it can even be used to construct the initial mass and luminosity function (IMF, ILF) of clusters (defined as visible clusters with age 4 – 8 Myr). The high-mass end of the cluster IMF is a power-law with a slope of −2 or slightly shallower (−1.7) while the luminous cluster ILF has a power-slope of −1, in agreement with what is found for extragalactic clusters. Both distribution functions show a turnover, starting at 300 M and integrated magnitude −3 mag, respectively. The overall birthrate of clusters is 0.4 clusters per kpc2 and per Myr. The average present-day cluster mass is 700 M, while the average initial cluster mass is 4500 M. The difference of these two average masses indicates the high infant mortality and/or weight loss of Galactic open clusters (due to dynamical evolution).

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Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • ISSN: 1743-9213
  • EISSN: 1743-9221
  • URL: /core/journals/proceedings-of-the-international-astronomical-union
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