The distribution of main sequence and premain sequence stars in the young anticenter cluster NGC 2401

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1086/683059
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TypeArticle
Journal titlePublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
ISSN0004-6280
Volume127
Issue955
Pages836850; # of pages: 15
AbstractImages obtained with the Gemini Multiobject Spectrograph on Gemini South are used to examine the photometric properties and spatial distributions of main sequence (MS) and premain sequence (PMS) objects in the star cluster NGC 2401. The data sample several magnitudes fainter than previous studies and a large population of candidate PMS (cPMS) stars are identified. The cPMS stars are traced out to 2.4′ from the cluster center and have a flatter spatial distribution than the brightest MS stars near the cluster center. The luminosity function of all MS and candidate PMS stars can be matched by a model that assumes a solar neighborhood mass function, suggesting that NGC 2401 has not yet shed significant numbers of members with masses ≥0.5 M<inf>⊙</inf>. The frequency of wide binaries among the MS stars is ~3× higher than among the cPMS stars. It is argued that the difference in the spatial distributions of MS and PMS objects is not the consequence of secular dynamical evolution or structural evolution driven by near-catastrophic mass loss. Rather, it is suggested that the different spatial distributions of these objects is the fossil imprint of primordial subclustering that arises naturally if massive stars form preferentially in the highest density central regions of a protocluster.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada; National Science Infrastructure
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21276908
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Record identifiere8e3cc22-9af2-4b83-bfca-c5ea0737c33a
Record created2015-11-10
Record modified2016-05-09
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