Volume 516, June-July 2010
|Number of page(s)||11|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters, and populations|
|Published online||19 July 2010|
The fate of the pre-main sequence-rich clusters Collinder 197 and vdB 92: dissolution?
Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Departamento de Astronomia,
CP 15051, RS, Porto Alegre 91501-970, Brazil e-mail: [charles;bica]@if.ufrgs.br
Accepted: 16 March 2010
Context. Since most of the star clusters do not survive the embedded phase, their early dissolution appears to be a major source of field stars. However, catching a cluster in the act of dissolving is somewhat elusive.
Aims. We investigate the nature and possible evolution of the young Galactic star clusters Collinder 197 (Cr 197) and vdB 92.
Methods. Photometric and structural properties were derived with near-infrared photometry and field-star decontamination. Kinematical properties were inferred from proper motions of the main sequence (MS) and pre-MS (PMS) member stars.
Results. The colour–magnitude diagrams (CMDs) are basically characterised by a poorly-populated MS and a dominant fraction (75%) of PMS stars, and the combined MS and PMS CMD morphology in both clusters consistently constrains the age to within 5 ± 4 Myr, with a ~10 Myr spread in the star formation process. The MS+PMS stellar masses are ≈660+102-59 (Cr 197) and ≈750+101-51 (vdB 92). Both Cr 197 and vdB 92 appear to be abnormally large when compared to clusters within the same age range. They have irregular stellar radial density distributions (RDPs) with a marked excess in the innermost region, a feature that, at less than 10 Myr, is more likely related to the star formation and/or molecular cloud fragmentation than to age-dependent dynamical effects. The velocity dispersion of both clusters, derived from proper motions, is in the range ~15–22 km s-1.
Conclusions. Both clusters appear to be in a super-virial state, with velocity dispersions higher than those expected of nearly-virialised clusters of similar mass and size. A possible interpretation is that Cr 197 and vdB 92 deviate critically from dynamical equilibrium, and may dissolve into the field. We also conclude that early cluster dissolution leaves detectable imprints on RDPs of clusters as massive as several 102 . Cr 197 and vdB 92 may be the link between embedded clusters and young stellar associations.
Key words: open clusters and associations: general / open clusters and associations: individual: Collinder 197 / open clusters and associations: individual: vdB 92
© ESO, 2010
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