The SFR and IMF of the galactic disk
Author: Just, A.
Source: Astrophysics and Space Science, Volume 284, Number 2, 2003 , pp. 727-730(4)
There is a long term dynamical heating of stellar populations with age observed in the age – velocity dispersion – relation (AVR). This effect allows a determination of the star formation history SFR(t) from local kinematical data of main sequence stars. Using a self-consistent disk model for the vertical structure of the disk, we find from the kinematics of the stars in the solar neighbourhood that the SFR shows a moderate star burst about 10 Gyr ago followed by a continuous decline to the present day value consistent with the observed number of OB stars. The gravitational potential of the gas component and of the Dark Matter Halo is included and the effect of chemical enrichment, finite lifetime of the stars and mass loss of the stellar component are taken into account. The scale heights for main sequence stars together with the SFR is then used to determine constistently the IMF from the observed local luminosity function. The main new result is that the power law break in the present day mass function (PDMF) around 1 M⊙ is entirely due to evolutionary effects of the disk and does not appear in the IMF.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Mönchhofstr. 12-14, D-69120 Heidelberg, Germany
Publication date: January 1, 2003