PI: Andrea Leistra, Steward Observatory, email@example.com
Address: 933 N. Cherry Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719, USA
CoI: Angela Cotera, SETI
CoI: Jim Liebert, Steward Observatory
CoI: Phil Massey, Lowell Observatory
Title: The Stellar IMF of Massive Young Stellar 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 the photometry already obtained for the entire clusters will enable us to determine the IMF of these clusters, giving us IMFs for infrared-selected clusters in different Galactic environments and allowing us to test the claims of non-universality.
National Optical Astronomy Observatory, 950 North Cherry Avenue, P.O. Box 26732, Tucson, Arizona 85726, Phone: (520) 318-8000, Fax: (520) 318-8360