Mass segregation in very young open clusters: a case stupy of NGC 2244 and NGC 6530

L. Chen*, R. de Grijs, J. L. Zhao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


We derive the proper motions, membership probabilities, and velocity dispersions of stars in the regions of the young (∼2-4 Myr old) open clusters NGC 2244 (the central cluster in the Monoceros R2 association) and NGC 6530 (the dominant cluster in the Sgr OB1 association) from photographic plate material obtained at Shanghai Astronomical Observatory, with time baselines of 34 and 87 yr, respectively. Both clusters show clear evidence of mass segregation, but they do not exhibit any significant velocity-mass (or, equivalently, velocity-luminosity) dependence. This provides strong support for the suggestion that the observed mass segregation is at least partially due to the way in which star formation has proceeded in these complex star-forming regions ("primordial" mass segregation). Based on arguments related to the clusters' published initial mass functions, in conjunction with our new measurements of their internal velocity dispersions (∼35 and 8 km s -1 for NGC 2244 and NGC 6530, respectively), we provide strong arguments in favor of the dissolution of NGC 2244 on very short timescales, while we speculate that NGC 6530 may be more stable against the effects of internal two-body relaxation, However, this latter object may well be destroyed by the strong tidal field prevalent at its location in the Galactic plane in the direction of the Galactic center.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1368-1379
Number of pages12
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • astrometry
  • open clusters and associations: general
  • open clusters and associations: individual (NGC 2244, NGC 6530)
  • stellar dynamics


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