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Statistical Confirmation of a Stellar Upper Mass Limit

M.S. Oey & C.J. Clarke

We derive the expectation value for the maximum stellar mass (m_max) in an ensemble of N stars, as a function of the IMF upper-mass cutoff (m_up) and N. We statistically demonstrate that the upper IMF of the local massive star census observed thus far in the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds clearly exhibits a universal upper mass cutoff around 120 - 200 M_sun for a Salpeter IMF, although the result is more ambiguous for a steeper IMF.

ApJ Letters, 620, L43

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