SCYON Abstract

Received on: 18 01 2023

Probing the Milky Way stellar and brown dwarf initial mass function with modern microlensing observations

Authors:G. Chabrier 1,2, R. Lenoble 1
Affiliations:(1) Ecole normale supérieure de Lyon, CRAL, Université de Lyon, Lyon, France; (2) School of Physics, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK
Accepted by: Astrophysical Journal Letters (ApJL)

We use recent microlensing observations toward the central bulge of the Galaxy to probe the overall stellar plus brown dwarf initial mass function (IMF) in these regions well within the brown dwarf domain. We find that the IMF is consistent with the same Chabrier (2005) IMF characteristic of the Galactic disk. In contrast, other IMFs suggested in the literature overpredict the number of short-time events, thus of very-low mass stars and brown dwarfs, compared with observations. This, again, supports the suggestion that brown dwarfs and stars form predominantly via the same mechanism. We show that claims for different IMFs in the stellar and substellar domains rather arise from an incorrect parameterization of the IMF. Furthermore, we show that the IMF in the central regions of the bulge seems to be bottom-heavy, as illustrated by the large number of short-time events compared with the other regions. This recalls our previous analysis of the IMF in massive early type galaxies and suggests the same kind of two-phase formation scenario, with the central bulge initially formed under more violent, burst-like conditions than the rest of the Galaxy.

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