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Paper: Young Massive Clusters in the Galactic Center
Volume: 322, The Formation and Evolution of Massive Young Star Clusters
Page: 49
Authors: Figer, D.F.
Abstract: The three young clusters in the Galactic Center represent the closest examples of massive starbursts and they define the upper mass limit of the Galactic cluster mass functions. In this review, I describe the characteristics and content of the Arches, Quintuplet, and Central clusters. They each are more massive than any other cluster in the Galaxy, and the Arches cluster, in particular, has a mass and age that make it ideal for studies of massive stellar evolution and dense stellar systems. A preliminary measurement indicates that the initial mass function in the Galactic center is top-heavy, suggesting an environmental effect that has otherwise been absent in similar observations for Galactic clusters. Given the relatively more evolved nature of the Quintuplet and Central clusters, these clusters contain stars in a wide range of evolutionary states, including Luminous Blue Variables and Wolf-Rayet stars. The Quintuplet cluster provides a particularly interesting view of the most massive stars that are known, the Pistol Star and FMM362. An analysis of the mass spectrum in the Arches cluster suggests an upper mass cutoff of ~150-200 MSolar.
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