Volume 626, June 2019
|Number of page(s)||17|
|Section||Galactic structure, stellar clusters and populations|
|Published online||17 June 2019|
Do star clusters form in a completely mass-segregated way?⋆
Astronomical Institute of Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
2 Observatory and Planetarium of Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
3 Helmholtz-Institut für Strahlen- und Kernphysik (HISKP), Universität Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Accepted: 13 May 2019
Context. ALMA observations of the Serpens South star-forming region suggest that stellar protoclusters may be completely mass segregated at birth. Independent observations also suggest that embedded clusters form segregated by mass.
Aims. As the primordial mass segregation seems to be lost over time, we aim to study on which timescale an initially perfectly mass-segregated star cluster becomes indistinguishable from an initially not mass-segregated cluster. As an example, the Orion Nebula Cluster (ONC) is also discussed.
Methods. We used N-body simulations of star clusters with various masses and two different degrees of primordial mass segregation. We analysed their energy redistribution through two-body relaxation to quantify the time when the models agree in terms of mass segregation, which sets in only dynamically in the models that are primordially not mass segregated. A comprehensive cross-matched catalogue combining optical, infrared, and X-ray surveys of ONC members was also compiled and made available.
Results. The models evolve to a similar radial distribution of high-mass stars after the core collapse (about half a median two-body relaxation time, trh) and become observationally indistinguishable from the point of view of mass segregation at time τv ≈ 3.3 trh. In the case of the ONC, using the distribution of high-mass stars, we may not rule out either evolutionary scenario (regardless of whether they are initially mass segregated). When we account for extinction and elongation of the ONC, as reported elsewhere, an initially perfectly mass-segregated state seems to be more consistent with the observed cluster.
Key words: methods: numerical / methods: data analysis / galaxies: star clusters: individual: ONC / stars: formation
Full Table 3 is only available at the CDS via anonymous ftp to cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr (22.214.171.124) or via http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/qcat?J/A+A/626/A79
© ESO 2019
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