The core mass function in the Orion Nebula Cluster region: What Determines the Final Stellar Masses?

Hideaki Takemura, Fumitaka Nakamura, Shuo Kong, Héctor G. Arce, John M. Carpenter, Volker Ossenkopf-Okada, Ralf Klessen, Patricio Sanhueza, Yoshito Shimajiri, Takashi Tsukagoshi, Ryohei Kawabe, Shun Ishii, Kazuhito Dobashi, Tomomi Shimoikura, Paul F. Goldsmith, Álvaro Sánchez-Monge, Jens Kauffmann, Thushara Pillai, Paolo Padoan, Adam GinsbergRowan J. Smith, John Bally, Steve Mairs, Jaime E. Pineda, Dariusz C. Lis, Blakesley Burkhart, Peter Schilke, Hope How-Huan Chen, Andrea Isella, Rachel K. Friesen, Alyssa A. Goodman, Doyal A. Harper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Applying dendrogram analysis to the CARMA-NRO C18O (J = 1–0) data having an angular resolution of ∼8'', we identified 692 dense cores in the Orion Nebula Cluster region. Using this core sample, we compare the core and initial stellar mass functions in the same area to quantify the step from cores to stars. About 22% of the identified cores are gravitationally bound. The derived core mass function (CMF) for starless cores has a slope similar to Salpeter's stellar initial mass function (IMF) for the mass range above 1 M⊙, consistent with previous studies. Our CMF has a peak at a subsolar mass of ∼0.1 M⊙, which is comparable to the peak mass of the IMF derived in the same area. We also find that the current star formation rate is consistent with the picture in which stars are born only from self-gravitating starless cores. However, the cores must gain additional gas from the surroundings to reproduce the current IMF (e.g., its slope and peak mass), because the core mass cannot be accreted onto the star with 100% efficiency. Thus, the mass accretion from the surroundings may play a crucial role in determining the final stellar masses of stars.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL6
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2021


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