Statistical confirmation of a stellar upper mass limit

  title={Statistical confirmation of a stellar upper mass limit},
  author={Melanie J. Clarke},
  journal={The Astrophysical Journal},
  • M. Clarke
  • Published 7 January 2005
  • Physics
  • The Astrophysical Journal
We derive the expectation value for the maximum stellar mass (mmax) in an ensemble of N stars, as a function of the initial mass function (IMF) upper mass cutoff (mup) and N. We statistically demonstrate that the upper IMF of the local massive star census observed thus far in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds clearly exhibits a universal upper mass cutoff around 120-200 M☉ for a Salpeter IMF, although the result is more ambiguous for a steeper IMF. 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Empirical evidence suggesting a stellar upper-mass limit
  • M. Oey
  • Physics
    Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union
  • 2006
Abstract While theoretical understanding remains to be clarified regarding the mechanisms that may or may not limit stellar masses, it is possible to empirically evaluate the existence of an
On the upper limit on stellar masses in the Large Magellanic Cloud cluster R136
A truncated power-law distribution is fitted to the 29 largest stellar masses known in R136. Two different statistical techniques are used, with comparable results. An upper limit to the mass
The Young and the Massive: Stars at the upper end of the Initial Mass Function
Abstract The upper mass limit of stars remains an open question in astrophysics. Here we discuss observations of the most massive stars (greater than 100 solar masses) in the local universe and how
Wind modelling of very massive stars up to 300 solar masses
The stellar upper-mass limit is highly uncertain. Some studies have claimed there is a universal upper limit of ∼150 M� . A factor that is often overlooked is that there might be a significant
A top-heavy stellar initial mass function in starbursts as an explanation for the high mass-to-light ratios of ultra-compact dwarf galaxies
It has been recently shown that the dynamical V-band mass-to-light ratios of compact stellar systems with masses from 10 6 to 10 8 Mare not consistent with the predictions from simple stellar
Constraining the Initial Mass Function in Extreme Environments: Detecting Young Low-Mass Stars in Unresolved Starbursts
We demonstrate the feasibility of detecting directly low-mass stars in unresolved super star clusters with ages 100) at R = 1000, placing constraints on the ratio of high- to low-mass stars
The Scale-Free Character of the Cluster Mass Function and the Universality of the Stellar Initial Mass Function
Our recent determination of a Salpeter slope for the initial mass function (IMF) in the field of 30 Doradus appears to be in conflict with simple probabilistic counting arguments advanced in the past
The influence of multiple stars on the high-mass stellar initial mass function and age-dating of young massive star clusters
The study of young stellar populations has revealed that most stars are in binary or higher order multiple systems. In this study, the influence on the stellar initial mass function (IMF) of large
The massive stellar population in the young association LH 95 in the Large Magellanic Cloud
We present a spectroscopic study of the most massive stars in the young (4 Myr old) stellar cluster LH 95 in the Large Magellanic Cloud. This analysis allows us to complete the census of the stellar
Empirical Properties of Very Massive Stars
In this chapter we present the properties of the most massive stars known by the end of 2013. We start with a summary of historical claims for stars with masses in excess of several hundreds, even


Evidence for a fundamental stellar upper mass limit from clustered star formation
The observed masses of the most massive stars do not surpass about 150 M ○. . This may either be a fundamental upper mass limit which is defined by the physics of massive stars and/or their
Statistical sampling from the stellar initial mass function (IMF) for all star-forming regions in the Galaxy would lead to the prediction of ~1000 M☉ stars unless there is a rapid turn-down in the
The Initial Mass Function of Stars: Evidence for Uniformity in Variable Systems
Combining IMF estimates for different populations in which the stars can be observed individually unveils an extraordinary uniformity of the IMF, which appears to hold for populations including present-day star formation in small molecular clouds.
Generic Spectrum and Ionization Efficiency of a Heavy Initial Mass Function for the First Stars
We calculate the generic spectral signature of an early population of massive stars at high redshifts. For metal-free stars with mass above 300 M☉, we find that the combined spectral luminosity per
The Initial Stellar Mass Function from Random Sampling in a Turbulent Fractal Cloud
The initial mass function (IMF) for stars is proposed to result from two distinct physical processes that determine its shape separately in two intervals of mass: random sampling of mass in a fractal
The Luminosity function and stellar evolution
The evolutionary significance of the observed luminosity function for main-sequence stars in the solar neighborhood is discussed. The hypothesis is made that stars move off the main sequence after
The Evolution and fate of Very Massive Objects
The structure and evolution of Very Massive Objects (stars of mass approx.10/sup 2/-10/sup 5/ M/sub sun/) are discussed in terms of simple semianalytic models. We estimate the helium enrichment due
Early star formation and the evolution of the stellar initial mass function in galaxies
It has frequently been suggested in the literature that the stellar IMF in galaxies was top-heavy at early times. This would be plausible physically if the IMF depended on a mass-scale such as the
Massive Stars in the Local Group: Implications for Stellar Evolution and Star Formation
▪ Abstract The galaxies of the Local Group serve as important laboratories for understanding the physics of massive stars. Here I discuss what is involved in identifying various kinds of massive
Central object of the 30 doradus nebula, a supermassive star.
R136 (HD 38268) is the central object of the 30 Doradus Nebula, a giant region of ionized hydrogen in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Observations of R136 at low and high spectral resolution with the