AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 25 Young Stars and Clusters
Oral, Monday, January 5, 2004, 10:00-11:30am, Centennial IV

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[25.03] Massive Field Stars and OB Associations in the SMC

M. S. Oey, N. L. King (Lowell Obs.), J. Wm. Parker (SwRI)

We examine the clustering properties of OB stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud, using modern UBVR and UIT data. We identify OB associations using a friends-of-friends algorithm and evaluate the distribution of N*, the number of OB stars per group, finding that it agrees with the universal power law N*-2. We do not find any variation from this law for the field massive stars (N*=1), suggesting no change in the star formation process between the field and clusters. For a universal IMF, this implies that field massive stars outnumber those in associations by a factor of 1.56, with important consequences for global feedback processes in galaxies.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.