Back to Volume
Paper: A New Method for Measuring the Upper End of the IMF
Volume: 440, UP2010: Have Observations Revealed a Variable Upper End of the Initial Mass Function?
Page: 125
Authors: Calzetti, D.; Chandar, R.; Lee, J. C.; Elmegreen, B. G.; Kennicutt, R. C.; Whitmore, B. C.
Abstract: A method is presented here for investigating variations in the upper end of the stellar Initial Mass Function (IMF) by probing the production rate of ionizing photons in unresolved, compact star clusters with ages<10 Myr and covering a range of masses. We test this method on the young cluster population in the nearby galaxy M51a, for which multi-wavelength observations from the Hubble Space Telescope are available. Our results indicate that the proposed method can probe the upper end of the IMF in galaxies located out to at least 10 Mpc, i.e., a factor 200 further away than possible by counting individual stars in young compact clusters. Our results for this galaxy show no obvious dependence of the upper mass end of the IMF on the mass of the star cluster, down to ∼1000 M, although more extensive analyses involving lower mass clusters and other galaxies are needed to confirm this conclusion.
Back to Volume