Volume 561, January 2014
|Number of page(s)||15|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||17 December 2013|
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie,
2 Argelander Institut für Astronomie, auf dem Hügel 71, 53121 Bonn, Germany
3 Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr., Baltimore MD 21218, USA
4 Universität Heidelberg, Zentrum für Astronomie, Institut für Theoretische Astrophysik, Albert-Ueberle-Str. 2, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
5 Department of Physics, University of Pisa, Largo Bruno Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy
6 Universität Heidelberg, Zentrum für Astronomie, Astronomisches Rechen Institut, Mönchhofstrasse 12–14, 69120 Heidelberg, Germany
7 Purple Mountain Observatory, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 210008 Nanjing, PR China
Received: 24 May 2013
Accepted: 25 October 2013
Context. Embedded clusters like W3 Main are complex and dynamically evolving systems that represent an important phase in the star formation process.
Aims. We aim to characterize of the entire stellar content of W3 Main in a statistical sense, which will then identify possible differences in the evolutionary phase of the stellar populations and find clues about the formation mechanism of this massive embedded cluster.
Methods. Deep JHKs imaging is used to derive the disk fraction, Ks-band luminosity functions, and mass functions for several subregions in W3 Main. A two-dimensional completeness analysis using artificial star experiments is applied as a crucial ingredient for assessing realistic completeness limits for our photometry.
Results. We find an overall disk fraction of 7.7 ± 2.3%, radially varying from 9.4 ± 3.0% in the central 1 pc to 5.6 ± 2.2% in the outer parts of W3 Main. The mass functions derived for three subregions are consistent with a Kroupa and Chabrier mass function. The mass function of IRSN3 is complete down to 0.14 M⊙ and shows a break at M ~ 0.5 M⊙.
Conclusions. We interpret the higher disk fraction in the center as evidence that the cluster center is younger. We find that the evolutionary sequence observed in the low-mass stellar population is consistent with the observed age spread among the massive stars. An analysis of the mass function variations does not show evidence of mass segregation. W3 Main is currently still actively forming stars, showing that the ionizing feedback of OB stars is confined to small areas (~0.5 pc). The FUV feedback might be influencing large regions of the cluster as suggested by the low overall disk fraction.
Key words: stars: luminosity function, mass function / infrared: stars / open clusters and associations: individual: W3 Main / stars: pre-main sequence
Based on data acquired using the Large Binocular Telescope (LBT). The LBT is an international collaboration among institutions in Germany, Italy, and the United States. LBT Corporation partners are LBT Beteiligungsgesellschaft, Germany, representing the Max Planck Society, the Astrophysical Institute Potsdam, and Heidelberg University; Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica, Italy; The University of Arizona on behalf of the Arizona University system; The Ohio State University, and The Research Corporation, on behalf of The University of Notre Dame, University of Minnesota and University of Virginia.
JHK catalog is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (184.108.40.206) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/561/A12
© ESO, 2013
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