Do star clusters have a mid-life crisis? The age gap between open and globular clusters in the Milky Way

This research project aims to investigate the age gap between the youthful open clusters and ancient globular clusters found in galaxies

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This project is open for Bachelor students
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There is a dichotomy between the star clusters within our Milky Way. This research project aims to investigate the age gap between the youthful open clusters and ancient globular clusters found in galaxies. Open clusters are loosely bound groups of young stars, typically found within the spiral arms of galaxies, while globular clusters are densely packed spherical collections of stars, predominantly located in the halos of galaxies and are almost as old as the Universe itself. However, there is a significant age gap between these clusters; what is causing this mid-life crisis? Understanding the difference in age between these two types of clusters can provide valuable insights into the formation and evolution of galaxies.

 

Research Objectives:

1. Literature Review: Conduct an extensive review of the existing literature on open and globular clusters, focusing on their formation theories and observed age distributions. Identify key theoretical models and observational constraints that can aid in interpreting the results.

2. Collect a catalogue of cluster ages and masses from the literature (the plot shown in this project description is very much incomplete and inaccurate!)

3. Use the latest measurements of stellar ages for open and globular clusters from the GALAH collaboration and estimate cluster masses for example via the dynamics of stars in these clusters

 

Members

Supervisor

Research Fellow