Volume 416, Number 1, March II 2004
|Page(s)||137 - 155|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters, and populations|
|Published online||26 February 2004|
Mass segregation in young Magellanic Cloud star clusters: Four clusters observed with HST
Sternwarte der Universität Bonn, Auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
2 Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
3 Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mount Stromlo Observatory, Weston, A.C.T. 2611, Australia
4 Department of Astrophysics Astronomy & Mechanics, Faculty of Physics, University of Athens, 15783 Athens, Greece
5 Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, National Observatory of Athens, PO Box 20048, 11810 Athens, Greece
Corresponding author: D. Gouliermis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 14 November 2003
We present the results of our investigation on the phenomenon of mass segregation in young star clusters in the Magellanic Clouds. HST/WFPC2 observations on NGC 1818, NGC 2004 and NGC 2100 in the Large Magellanic Cloud and NGC 330 in the Small Magellanic Cloud have been used for the application of diagnostic tools for mass segregation: i) the radial density profiles of the clusters for various mass groups and ii) their mass functions (MFs) at various radii around their centres. All four clusters are found to be mass segregated, but each one in a different manner. Specifically not all the clusters in the sample show the same dependence of their density profiles on the selected magnitude range, with NGC 1818 giving evidence of a strong relation and NGC 330 showing only a hint of the phenomenon. NGC 2004 did not show any significant signature of mass segregation in its density profiles either. The MFs radial dependence provides clear proof of the phenomenon for NGC 1818, NGC 2100 and NGC 2004, while for NGC 330 it gives only indications. An investigation of the constraints introduced by the application of both diagnostic tools is presented. We also discuss the problems related to the construction of a reliable MF for a cluster and their impact on the investigation of the phenomenon of mass segregation. We find that the MFs of these clusters as they were constructed with two methods are comparable to Salpeter's IMF. A discussion is given on the dynamical status of the clusters and a test is applied on the equipartition among several mass groups in them. Both showed that the observed mass segregation in the clusters is of primordial nature.
Key words: galaxies: star clusters / Magellanic Clouds / stars: luminosity function, mass function
© ESO, 2004
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