NGC 2298: a globular cluster on its way to disruption*
ESA, Space Science Department, Keplerlaan 1, 2200 AG Noordwijk, The Netherlands e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 INAF, Osservatorio Astronomico di Roma, via di Frascati 33, 00040 Monte Porzio Catone, Italy e-mail: email@example.com
Accepted: 29 November 2006
We have studied the stellar main sequence (MS) of the globular cluster NGC 2298 using deep HST/ACS observations in the F606W and F814W bands covering an area of around the cluster centre or about twice the cluster's half-mass radius. The colour-magnitude diagram that we derive in this way reveals a narrow and well defined MS extending down to the detection limit at 26.5, 25, corresponding to stars of ~0.2 . The luminosity function (LF) obtained with these data, once corrected for the limited effects of photometric incompleteness, reveals a remarkable deficiency of low-mass stars as well as a radial gradient, in that the LF becomes progressively steeper with radius. Using the mass-luminosity relation appropriate for the metallicity of NGC 2298, we derive the cluster's global mass function (GMF) by using a multi-mass Michie-King model. Over the range 0.8-0.2 , the number of stars per unit mass decreases following a power-law distribution of the type , where, for comparison, typical halo clusters have . If the IMF of NGC 2298 was similar to that of other metal poor halo clusters, like e.g. NGC 6397, the present GMF that we obtain implies that this object must have lost of the order of 85% of its original mass, at a rate much higher than that suggested by current models based on the available cluster orbit. The latter may, therefore, need revision.
Key words: stars: Hertzsprung-Russell (HR) and C-M diagrams / stars: luminosity function, mass function / Galaxy: globular clusters: general / Galaxy: globular clusters: individual: NGC 2298
© ESO, 2007