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Paper: Massive Young Stars in the Arches Cluster
Volume: 186, The Central Parsecs of the Galaxy
Page: 320
Authors: Serabyn, E.; Shupe, D.; Figer, D. F.
Abstract: The star formation rate per volume in the Milky way's nucleus exceeds that in the Galactic disk by several orders of magnitude, but the nuclear stellar initial mass function remains an unknown. Indeed, even the simple identification of stars on the main sequence remains problematic, due both to the presence of numerous bright giant stars in the region, and to the high extinction along the line of sight. The best place to search for main sequence stars is thus in a compact cluster which is suspected of being young. Here we discuss our high resolution near-infrared observations of the ``Arches'' cluster, which have revealed a remarkable collection of young, massive, main-sequence stars. The Arches cluster contains approximately 102 massive O-star candidates in a rather compact volume, dwarfing all other known young Galactic clusters. Its central density evidently exceeds that in the R136a cluster in 30 Doradus. The Arches cluster may in fact represent a low-end analog of the young ``super star clusters'' found in external galaxies.
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