initial mass function


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initial mass function

(IMF) See stellar mass.

initial mass function

[i′nish·əl ′mas ‚fəŋk·shən]
(astronomy)
The distribution of the masses of stars at the time of their formation.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus, the problem had been pushed back a level: the shape of the initial mass function appeared to directly mimic the shape of the mass distribution of the prestellar cores.
The stellar initial mass function is a fundamental parameter that not only encodes the astrophysics of star formation, but is also crucial for interpreting most extra-galactic observations.
By nailing down what percentage of stars have a particular mass within a cluster, or the Initial Mass Function (IMF), scientists can better interpret the light from distant galaxies and understand the formation history of stars in our universe.

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