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Young and embedded clusters in Cygnus-X: evidence for building up the initial mass function?

Abstract : We provide a new view on the Cygnus-X north complex by accessing for the first time the low mass content of young stellar populations in the region. Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Wide-Field Infrared Camera was used to perform a deep near-infrared survey of this complex, sampling stellar masses down to ∼0.1 M. Several analysis tools, including a extinction treatment developed in this work, were employed to identify and uniformly characterize a dozen unstudied young star clusters in the area. Investigation of their mass distributions in low-mass domain revealed a relatively uniform log-normal initial mass function (IMF) with a characteristic mass of 0.32 ± 0.08 M and mass dispersion of 0.40 ± 0.06. In the high-mass regime, their derived slopes showed that while the youngest clusters (age < 4 Myr) presented slightly shallower values with respect to the Salpeter's, our older clusters (4 Myr < age < 18 Myr) showed IMF compliant values and a slightly denser stellar population. Although possibly evidencing a deviation from an `universal' IMF, these results also supports a scenario where these gas-dominated young clusters gradually `build up' their IMF by accreting low-mass stars formed in their vicinity during their first ∼3 Myr, before the gas expulsion phase, emerging at the age of ∼4 Myr with a fully fledged IMF. Finally, the derived distances to these clusters confirmed the existence of at least three different star-forming regions throughout Cygnus-X north complex, at distances of 500-900 pc, 1.4-1.7 and 3.0 kpc, and revealed evidence of a possible interaction between some of these stellar populations and the Cygnus OB2 association.
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Submitted on : Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 4:43:51 PM
Last modification on : Saturday, June 25, 2022 - 3:06:31 AM

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F. F. S. Maia, E. Moraux, I. Joncour. Young and embedded clusters in Cygnus-X: evidence for building up the initial mass function?. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 2016, 458, pp.3027-3046. ⟨10.1093/mnras/stw450⟩. ⟨insu-03691545⟩

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