SCYON Abstract

Received on September 10 2006

The MODEST questions: challenges and future directions in stellar cluster research

Authors Melvyn B. Davies(1), Pau Amaro-Seoane(2), Cees Bassa(3), Jim Dale(4), Francesca De Angeli(5), Marc Freitag(5), Pavel Kroupa(6), Dougal Mackey(5), M. Coleman Miller(7) and Simon Portegies Zwart(8)
(1) Lund Observatory, Box 43, SE-221 00 Lund, Sweden
(2) Max-Planck Institut für Gravitationsphysik (Albert-Einstein-Institut), Am Mühlenberg 1, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany
(3) Astronomical Institute, University of Utrecht, The Netherlands
(4) Dept Physics & Astronomy, University of Leicester, Leicester, LE1 7RH, UK
(5) Institute of Astronomy, Madingley Road, Cambridge CB3 0HA, UK
(6) Argelander Institut für Astronomie (Sternwarte), Universität Bonn, D-53121 Bonn, Germany
(7) Department of Astronomy, University of Maryland at College Park, College Park, MD 20742-2421, USA and Laboratory for Gravtitational Astrophysics, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA
(8) Astronomical Institute "Anton Pannekoek" and Section Computational Science, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Accepted byNew Astronomy


We present a review of some of the current major challenges in stellar cluster research, including young clusters, globular clusters, and galactic nuclei. Topics considered include: primordial mass segregation and runaway mergers, expulsion of gas from clusters, the production of stellar exotica seen in some clusters (eg blue stragglers and extreme horizontal-branch stars), binary populations within clusters, the black-hole population within stellar clusters, the final parsec problem, stellar dynamics around a massive black hole, and stellar collisions. The Modest Questions posed here are the outcome of discussions which took place at the Modest-6A workshop held in Lund, Sweden, in December, 2005. Modest-6A was organised as part of the activities of the Modest Collaboration (see for further details).