F. Selman Abstract

The Central Density of R136

F. Selman (ESO) and J. Melnick

The central density rho_0 of a stellar cluster is an important physical parameter for determining its evolutionary and dynamical state. How much mass segregation there is, or whether the cluster has undergone core collapse both depends on rho_0. In this talk we reanalyze the results of a previous paper that gives the mass density profile of R136 and combine them with both a conservative upper limit for the core parameter and a more uncertain recent measurement, thus placing a lower limit on rho_0 under reasonable and defensible assumptions about the IMF, finding rho_0 >~ 1.5x10^4 Msun/pc^3 for the conservative assumption a < 0.4 pc for the cluster core parameter. If we use the lower, but more uncertain value a = 0.025 pc, the central density estimate becomes greater than 10^7 Msun/pc^3. A mechanism based on the destruction of a large number of circumstellar disks is posited to explain a hitherto unexplained increase in reddening presented in that same work.