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Paper: Clarifying our View of Star Formation in Massive Young Clusters with Adaptive Optics
Volume: 440, UP2010: Have Observations Revealed a Variable Upper End of the Initial Mass Function?
Page: 63
Authors: Lu, J. R.; Clarkson, W.; McCrady, N.; Ghez, A. M.; Morris, M. R.; Stolte, A.; Yelda, S.; Do, T.
Abstract: Observations of massive (>104 M), young (<10 Myr) star clusters within our Galaxy allow us to fully sample the upper end of the initial mass function within a single star formation event. Such clusters also reside in a range of environments including the Galactic disk, the Galactic center region, and immediately surrounding the supermassive black hole in our Galactic nucleus. However, studies of these clusters are limited by crowding in the dense cores, strong and variable visible extinction, and confusion between cluster members and contaminating field stars. Using Keck laser-guided adaptive optics observations, we obtain high-resolution images and high-precision proper motions to both identify individual cluster members and investigate the kinematic properties of such clusters. As we build up complete proper motion data sets for several massive young clusters, our multi-color near-infrared photometry will yield precise mass functions that can be compared to search for environmental dependencies.
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