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The Early Expansion of Cluster Cores

Bastian, N, Gieles, M, Goodwin, SP, Trancho, G, Smith, LJ, Konstantopoulos, I and Efremov, Y (2008) The Early Expansion of Cluster Cores Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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The observed properties of young star clusters, such as the core radius and luminosity profile, change rapidly during the early evolution of the clusters. Here we present observations of 6 young clusters in M51 where we derive their sizes using HST imaging and ages using deep Gemini-North spectroscopy. We find evidence for a rapid expansion of the cluster cores during the first 20 Myr of their evolution. We confirm this trend by including data from the literature of both Galactic and extra-galactic embedded and young clusters, and possible mechanisms (rapid gas removal, stellar evolutionary mass-loss, and internal dynamical heating) are discussed. We explore the implications of this result, focussing on the fact that clusters were more concentrated in the past, implying that their stellar densities were much higher and relaxation times correspondingly shorter. Thus, when estimating if a particular cluster is dynamically relaxed, (i.e. when determining if a cluster's mass segregation is due to primordial or dynamical processes), the current relaxation time is only an upper-limit, with the relaxation time likely being significantly shorter in the past.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Surrey research (other units)
Authors :
Bastian, N
Goodwin, SP
Trancho, G
Smith, LJ
Konstantopoulos, I
Efremov, Y
Date : 9 June 2008
DOI : 10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13547.x
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 17 May 2017 12:40
Last Modified : 24 Jan 2020 22:39

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