Stars form from molecular clouds, mostly in clusters with tens to tens of thousands of members, and the mass distribution within these clusters, or the Initial Mass Function, seems to be invariable against many parameters and over a wide range of masses. However, masses are a very difficult quantity to assess, and the precision of our determinations of the IMF is systematically lower than usually quoted. I will discuss the process of determining masses from observations and the type of uncertainties associated with this process.
techniques: photometric, stars: fundamental parameters, stars: luminosity function, mass function, (Galaxy:) open clusters and associations: general
Computational Star Formation
J. Alves, B.G. Elmegreen, J.M. Girart, V. Trimble
Cambridge University Press