Wolf-Rayet Stars as IMF Probes

  • Claus Leitherer
Conference paper
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 327)


Wolf-Rayet stars are the evolved descendents of massive stars. Their extraordinary properties make them useful tracers of the stellar initial mass function (IMF) in a young stellar population. I discuss how the interpretation of spectral diagnostics are complicated by the interplay of stellar, nebular, and dust properties. There is mounting observational evidence for spatial inhomogeneities in the gas and dust distribution. The interplay of these inhomogeneities can significantly alter frequently used star-formation and IMF indicators. Specific examples presented in this contribution are the starburst galaxies NGC 1614, NGC 2798, and NGC 3125.


Massive Star Equivalent Width Stellar Wind Initial Mass Function Starburst Galaxy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claus Leitherer
    • 1
  1. 1.Space Telescope Science InstituteBaltimoreUSA

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