Using the highest-resolution X-ray observation of the Trumpler 15 star cluster taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory, we estimate the total size of its stellar population by comparing the X-ray luminosity function (XLF) of the detected sources to a calibrator cluster and identify for the first time a significant fraction (14%) of its individual members. The highest-resolution near-IR observation of Trumpler 15 (taken by the HAWK-I instrument on the Very Large Telescope) was found to detect most of our X-ray selected sample of cluster members, with a K-excess disk frequency of 3.8% 0.7%. The near-IR data, XLF, and published spectral types of the brightest members support a cluster age estimate (5-10Myr) that is older than those for the nearby Trumpler 14 and Trumpler 16 clusters, and suggest that high-mass members may have already exploded as supernovae. The morphology of the inner 0.7pc core of the cluster is found to be spherical. However, the outer regions (beyond 2pc) are elongated, forming an "envelope" of stars that, in projection, appears to connect Trumpler 15 to Trumpler 14; this morphology supports the view that these clusters are physically associated. Clear evidence of mass segregation is seen. This study appears in this special issue devoted to the Chandra Carina Complex Project, a 1.42 deg2 Chandra X-ray survey of the Great Nebula in Carina.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science