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Daytona Beach


Physical Sciences

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Using HST and the WFPC2 we have acquired very deep V- and I-band photometry of stars in NGC 2420 and NGC 2477 to study cluster luminosity functions at approximately solar metallicity. We have determined these cluster luminosity functions down to MI = 10.5 (0.2 M⊙) and find that the luminosity function of NGC 2420 turns over at MI ≈ 9.0, and possibly stops altogether by MI ≈ 9.5. The luminosity function of NGC 2477 may flatten at MI ≥ 9.5. We compare our open cluster luminosity functions to the solar neighborhood field star luminosity function of Kroupa, Tout \& Gilmore (1993) and the four published HST globular cluster luminosity functions: ω Cen (Elson {\it et al.}\ 1995), 47 Tuc (De Marchi \& Paresce 1995b), M 15 (De Marchi \& Paresce 1995a), and NGC 6397 (Paresce, De Marchi \& Romaniello 1995). We find a smooth relation between the location of the luminosity function turn-over and the metallicity for all these low mass star samples which matches the expected MI versus [Fe/H] trend for a model star of ≈ 0.27 M⊙ (Saumon 1995; Alexander {\it et al.}\ 1996). We interpret this smooth and systematic behavior in the cluster luminosity functions as strong evidence in favor of an invariant initial mass function and a metallicity-dependent mass-luminosity relation.

Publication Title

The Astronomical journal



The American Astronomical Society, The Institute of Physics

Additional Information

Dr. von Hippel was not affiliated with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at the time this paper was published.