Mass segregation and the initial mass function of super star cluster M82-F

Nate McCrady, James R. Graham, William D. Vacca

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54 Scopus citations


We investigate the initial mass function and mass segregation in super star cluster M82-F with high-resolution Keck NIRSPEC echelle spectroscopy. Cross-correlation with template supergiant spectra provides the velocity dispersion of the cluster, enabling measurement of the kinematic (virial) mass of the cluster when combined with sizes from NICMOS and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) images. We find a mass of 6.6 ± 0.9 × 105 M⊙ based on near-IR light and 7.0 ± 1.2 × 105 M⊙ based on optical light. Using PSF-fitting photometry, we derive the cluster's light-to-mass (L/M) ratio in both near-IR and optical light and compare to population-synthesis models. The ratios are inconsistent with a normal stellar initial mass function for the adopted age of 40-60 Myr, suggesting a deficiency of low-mass stars within the volume sampled. King model light profile fits to new Hubble Space Telescope ACS images of M82-F, in combination with fits to archival near-IR images, indicate mass segregation in the cluster. As a result, the virial mass represents a lower limit on the mass of the cluster.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-284
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 I
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005


  • Galaxies: individual (M82)
  • Galaxies: star clusters
  • Galaxies: starburst
  • Infrared: galaxies


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