Young Cluster Berkeley 59: Properties, Evolution, and Star Formation

Neelam Panwar, A. K. Pandey, Manash R. Samal, Paolo Battinelli, K. Ogura, D. K. Ojha, W. P. Chen, H. P. Singh

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Berkeley 59 is a nearby (∼1 kpc) young cluster associated with the Sh2-171 H ii region. We present deep optical observations of the central ∼2.5 × 2.5 pc2 area of the cluster, obtained with the 3.58 m Telescopio Nazionale Galileo. The V/(V-I) color-magnitude diagram manifests a clear pre-main-sequence (PMS) population down to ∼0.2 M o. Using the near-infrared and optical colors of the low-mass PMS members, we derive a global extinction of AV = 4 mag and a mean age of ∼1.8 Myr, respectively, for the cluster. We constructed the initial mass function and found that its global slopes in the mass ranges of 0.2-28 M o and 0.2-1.5 M o are -1.33 and -1.23, respectively, in good agreement with the Salpeter value in the solar neighborhood. We looked for the radial variation of the mass function and found that the slope is flatter in the inner region than in the outer region, indicating mass segregation. The dynamical status of the cluster suggests that the mass segregation is likely primordial. The age distribution of the PMS sources reveals that the younger sources appear to concentrate close to the inner region compared to the outer region of the cluster, a phenomenon possibly linked to the time evolution of star-forming clouds. Within the observed area, we derive a total mass of ∼103 M o for the cluster. Comparing the properties of Berkeley 59 with other young clusters, we suggest it resembles more closely the Trapezium cluster.

Original languageEnglish
Article number44
JournalAstronomical Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018


  • mass function
  • open clusters and associations: general
  • stars: formation
  • stars: luminosity function
  • stars: pre-main sequence


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