Thursday, January 17, 2013

1301.3491 (Sambaran Banerjee et al.)

Did the infant R136 and NGC 3603 clusters undergo residual gas expulsion?    [PDF]

Sambaran Banerjee, Pavel Kroupa
Based on kinematic data observed for very young, massive clusters that appear to be in dynamical equilibrium, it has recently been argued that such young systems set examples where the early residual gas-expulsion did not happen or had no dynamical effect. The intriguing scenario of a star cluster forming through a single starburst has thereby been challenged. Choosing the case of the R136 cluster of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the most cited one in this context, we perform direct N-body computations that mimic the early evolution of this cluster including the gas-removal phase (on a thermal timescale). Our calculations show that under plausible initial conditions as consistent from observational data, a large fraction (> 60%) of a gas-expelled, expanding R136-like cluster is bound to regain dynamical equilibrium by its current age. Therefore, the recent measurements of velocity dispersion in the inner regions of R136, that indicate that the cluster is in dynamical equilibrium, are consistent with an earlier substantial gas expulsion of R136 followed by a rapid re-virialization (in approx. 1 Myr). Additionally, we find that the less massive Galactic NGC 3603 Young Cluster (NYC), with a substantially longer re-virialization time, is likely to be found deviated from dynamical equilibrium at its present age (approx. 1 Myr). The recently obtained stellar proper motions in the central part of the NYC indeed suggest this and are consistent with the computed models. This work significantly extends previous models of the Orion Nebula Cluster which already demonstrated that the re-virialization time of young post-gas-expulsion clusters decreases with increasing pre-expulsion density.
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