The Initial Mass Functions of Magellanic Cloud Star Clusters
Recent attempts to determine the mass functions (MFs) of Magellanic Cloud star clusters are reviewed. A critical comparison of two of these studies — Mateo (1988) and Elson, Fall, and Freeman (1989; EFF) — is presented. Taken at face value, the results of these two investigations suggest that significant variations in the MF slopes exist among young Magellanic Cloud clusters. New observational evidence for one of the clusters studied by EFF — NGC 1866 — is presented, and the issue of whether earlier apparent differences in Magellanic Cloud cluster MF slopes are real or are artifacts of the methods employed in the various studies is addressed. The new determination of the MF slope of NGC 1866 is not consistent with the EFF results, and we suggest a possible explanation for the discrepancy.
KeywordsMass Function Luminosity Function Cloud Fragmentation Initial Mass Function Magellanic Cloud
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