PI: Andrea Leistra, Steward Observatory, email@example.com
Address: 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85721
CoI: Angela Cotera, SETI Institute
CoI: Jim Liebert, Steward Observatory
CoI: Phil Massey, Lowell Observatory
Title: The Stellar IMF of Massive Young Star Clusters
Abstract: One of the central questions regarding star formation is how the initial conditions, such as metallicity, ambient magnetic fields, and velocity dispersions affect the production of stars, and in particular whether the initial mass function (IMF) varies with environment, a question which arises both within the Galaxy and in studies of distant starburst galaxies. Recently, claims have been made that the extreme conditions in the Galactic Center environment have resulted in dramatically different IMFs for stellar clusters in that region. We are requesting time using FLAMINGOS on the 4m to obtain spectra of the most massive stars in four newly discovered young stellar clusters, spanning a range of Galactic environments and stellar densities, for which we have previously obtained NIR images. The combination of spectra of the most massive cluster stars and photometry (already obtained) for the entire clusters enables us to estimate the IMF of these clusters, giving us IMFs for infrared-selected clusters in different Galactic environments and making the claims of non-universality testable. This proposal was previously awarded time in 2004A and was partially clouded out; we are resubmitting it for the balance of the time.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360