SCYON Abstract

Received on September 8 2003

Young star clusters: Progenitors of globular clusters!?

AuthorsPeter Anders (1), Uta Fritze-v. Alvensleben (1), Richard de Grijs (2)
(1) Universitäts-Sternwarte Göttingen, Geismarlandstrasse 11, 37083 Göttingen, Germany,
(2) Department of Physics & Astronomy, The University of Sheffield, Hicks Building, Hounsfield Road, Sheffield S3 7RH, UK
To appear inScientific Highlights of the IAU, IAU XXV, Sydney, Joint Discussion 11


Star cluster formation is a major mode of star formation in the extreme conditions of interacting galaxies and violent starbursts. Young clusters are observed to form in a variety of such galaxies, a substantial number resembling the progenitors of globular clusters in mass and size, but with significantly enhanced metallicity. From studies of the metal-poor and metal-rich star cluster populations of galaxies, we can therefore learn about the violent star formation history of these galaxies, and eventually about galaxy formation and evolution. We present a new set of evolutionary synthesis models of our GALEV code, with special emphasis on the gaseous emission of presently forming star clusters, and a new tool to compare extensive model grids with multi-color broad-band observations to determine individual cluster masses, metallicities, ages and extinction values independently. First results for young star clusters in the dwarf starburst galaxy NGC 1569 are presented. The mass distributions determined for the young clusters give valuable input to dynamical star cluster system evolution models, regarding survival and destruction of clusters. We plan to investigate an age sequence of galaxy mergers to see dynamical destruction effects in process.