The Quintuplet Cluster III.
Hertzsprung-Russell diagram and cluster age

A. Liermann (1), W.-R. Hamann (2), L. M. Oskinova (2)

1 - Max-Planck-Institute for Radioastronomy, Bonn;
2 - University of Potsdam

The Quintuplet, one of three massive stellar clusters in the Galactic center, is located about 30pc in projection from Sagittarius A*. Based on near-infrared K-band spectra we determine temperatures and luminosities for all stars in our sample and construct the
Herztsprung-Russell diagram. We find two distinct groups: early-type OB stars and late-type KM stars, well separated from each other. By comparison with Geneva stellar evolution models we derive initial masses exceeding 8 solar masses for the OB stars, that are located along an isochrone corresponding to a cluster age of about 4 million years. In addition, we derive number ratios (e. g. N_WR/N_O$) and compare them with predictions of population synthesis models. We find that an instantaneous burst of star formation at about 3.3 to 3.6 Myr ago is the most likely scenario to form the Quintuplet cluster. The late-type stars in the sample are red giant branch (RGB) stars or red supergiants (RSGs) according to their spectral signatures. It is discussed if they could physically belong to the Quintuplet cluster. Furthermore, we apply a mass-luminosity relation to construct the initial mass function (IMF) of the cluster. We find indications for a slightly top-heavy IMF.

Reference: A&A in press; arXiv:1203.2435
Status: Manuscript has been accepted