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Astron. Astrophys. 333, L27-L30 (1998)

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Letter to the Editor

Searching for open cluster remnants

R. de la Fuente Marcos

Universidad Complutense de Madrid, E-28040 Madrid, Spain

Received 26 May 1997 / Accepted 5 March 1998


The likely observational properties of the final stages of the evolution of open clusters are investigated by numerical calculations. It is found that they depend upon the membership of the cluster, the abundance of primordial binaries and the initial mass function. Remnants of poorly populated clusters are relatively easy to identify because of the presence of early-type stars. Remnants of rich open clusters are difficult to detect and might exist in large numbers. Detection of rich open clusters remnants (OCRs) is a big challenge for the largest available telescopes. The existence of a large number of OCRs may be relevant for dark matter in the Galactic disk.

Key words: galaxy: kinematics and dynamics – open clusters and associations: general – dark matter

Present address: Faculty of Science and Mathematics, Saint Louis University, Spain Campus, Avda. del Valle 34, E-28003, Madrid, Spain (e-mail: RFMARCOS@spmail.slu.edu)

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© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: April 20, 1998