SCYON Abstract

Received on December 19 2002

The impact of mass loss on star cluster formation. II.
Numerical N-body integration & further applications

AuthorsC.M. Boily (1) & P. Kroupa (2)
Affiliation(1) Observatoire astronomique, 11 rue de l'université, Strasbourg, France
(2) Institut für Theoretische Physik und Astrophysik der Universität Kiel, D-24098 Kiel, Germany
Accepted byMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society


We subject to an N-body numerical investigation our analysis of Paper I (astro-ph/0210378) on the survival of stellar clusters undergoing rapid mass loss. We compare analytical tracks of bound mass-fraction vs star formation efficiency epsilon to those obtained with N-body integration. We use these to argue that stellar clusters must develop massive cores of high-binding energy if they are to remain bound despite a star formation efficiency as low as 30% or lower suggested by observations. The average local virial ratio < sigma2/|phi| > is introduced to classify bound clusters as function of their critical epsilon for dissolution. Clusters dissolving at lower epsilon achieve the lowest ratio. We applied this classification parameter successfully to Michie-King and Hernquist-type distribution functions. The Plummer sphere is exceptional in that it defies this and other classification parameters we tried. The reasons for the discrepancy include less effective energy redistribution during the expansion phase for this case.