- Intermediate to low-mass stellar content of Westerlund 1
- Astronomy & Astrophysics
- Volume | Issue number
- 478 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Anton Pannekoek Institute for Astronomy (API)
We have analysed near-infrared NTT/SofI observations of the starburst cluster Westerlund 1, which is among the most massive young clusters in the Milky Way. A comparison of colour-magnitude diagrams with theoretical main-sequence and pre-main sequence evolutionary tracks yields improved extinction and distance estimates of A(Ks) = 1.13 +/- 0.03 mag and d = 3.55 +/- 0.17 kpc (DM = 12.75 +/- 0.10 mag). The pre-main sequence population is best fit by a Palla & Stahler isochrone for an age of 3.2 Myr, while the main sequence population is in agreement with a cluster age of 3 to 5 Myr. An analysis of the structural parameters of the cluster yields that the half-mass radius of the cluster population increases towards lower mass, indicative of the presence of mass segregation. The cluster is clearly elongated with an eccentricity of 0.20 for stars with masses between 10 and 32 M-circle dot, and 0.15 for stars with masses in the range 3 to 10 M-circle dot. We derive the slope of the stellar mass function for stars with masses between 3.4 and 27 M-circle dot. In an annulus with radii between 0.75 and 1.5 pc from the cluster centre, we obtain a slope of Gamma = -1.3. Closer in, the mass function of Westerlund 1 is shallower with Gamma = -0.6. The extrapolation of the mass function for stars with masses from 0.08 to 120 M-circle dot yields an initial total stellar mass of approximate to 52 000 M-circle dot, and a present-day mass of 20 000 to 45 000 M-circle dot (about 10 times the stellar mass of the Orion nebula cluster, and 2 to 4 times the mass of the NGC 3603 young cluster), indicating that Westerlund 1 is the most massive starburst cluster identified to date in the Milky Way.
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