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SLUG: A new way to Stochastically Light Up Galaxies

Michele Fumagalli, Robert da Silva, Mark Krumholz, and Frank Bigiel. (2010)cite arxiv:1009.0524 Comment: 4 pages, 1 figure. To appear in "UP: Have Observations Revealed a Variable Upper End of the Initial Mass Function?", Astronomical Society of the Pacific Conference Series.

Abstract

We present SLUG, a new code to "Stochastically Light Up Galaxies". SLUG populates star clusters by randomly drawing stars from an initial mass function IMF and then following their time evolution with stellar models and an observationally-motivated prescription for cluster disruption. For a choice of star formation history, metallicity, and IMF, SLUG outputs synthetic photometry for clusters and field stars with a proper treatment of stochastic star formation. SLUG generates realistic distributions of star clusters, demonstrating the range of properties that result from finite sampling of an IMF and a random distribution of ages. The simulated data sets provide a quantitative means to address open problems in studies of star formation in galaxies and clusters, such as a test for IMF variations that are suggested by the systematic deficiency in the H-alpha/UV ratio in outer disks or in dwarf galaxies. SLUG will be made publicly available through the website http://sites.google.com/site/runslug/.

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[1009.0524] SLUG: A new way to Stochastically Light Up Galaxies

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