9. The Masses of Stars at Birth May Depend on Environment
- Title: A systematic variation of the stellar initial mass function in early-type galaxies
- Authors: M. Cappellari, R. McDermid, K. Alatalo, et al.
- First Author’s Institution: Sub-department of Astrophysics, Department of Physics, University of Oxford
- Full Astrobite: The IMF is Not Universal
Why it is important: When stars are born, there appear to always be many more low-mass stars than massive stars. However, if this ratio or ‘Initial Mass Function‘ (IMF) varies, it can change the way more extreme systems like high-redshift galaxies evolve.
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Just a note– it looks like the arXiv link that you have on the first page of this article does not link to the title you provide.
The link looks like it goes here:
“How supernova feedback turns dark matter cusps into cores”
instead of here:
“Keck Spectroscopy of Faint 3<z<8 Lyman Break Galaxies:- Evidence for a Declining Fraction of Emission Line Sources In the Redshift Range 6<z<8"
Ah, actually the links are just switched–
Thanks Dave! The links are now fixed.
Fascinating articles! But counting citations seriously distorts what astronomy is about. Because most young astronomers today work in observational cosmology, 10/12 papers are on that topic, the most glamorous frontier. But 10/12 of the most significant new papers of 2012 (selected some other way) paint a certainly much broader canvas, and reflect the amazing scope of astronomical research!
Only the search for new planets (another glamour topic) and new calculations of the evolution of rotating stars in the HR diagram (a classic issue in stellar astronomy) penetrated the top twelve. So much more was missing!
Nonetheless, an interesting citation poll.
Hi, I think the mass-to-light ratio of a low-mass star is higher than that of a high-mass star. In addition, the Salpeter IMF has more low-mass stars than the Kroupa and Chabrier IMFs.
I think that the article in astrobites has more detail introduction:
Yes, I had the mass-to-light ratio section entirely backward; this is now corrected (and consistent with the linked astrobite). Thank you!!