A Hierarchy of Scales: Unraveling Galaxy Properties Through Young Star Clusters in the Local Universe

This project will use observations of star clusters with the Hubble Space Telescope to disentangle the multi scale nature of star formation in local spiral galaxies.

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NGC 628 observed with the Hubble Space Telescope and JWST

Star clusters are the basic building blocks of galaxies. Star clusters connect the physics occurring at scales of individual stars to the structure and global evolution of entire star-forming galaxies. Star clusters form in a hierarchical structured interstellar medium at the hearts of dense giant molecular clouds. Studying the clustering structure of star clusters will thus allow us to connect the multi-scale nature of star formation within galaxies. 

Past studies using young clusters observed with the Hubble Space Telescope measured statistically significant variations in the structured nature of star clusters and demonstrated that they correlated with largescale galactic properties. Therefore, cluster formation is possibly not a universal process that operates the same way in all galaxies.

To investigate this, we will extend the pilot study to a much larger sample of both number of galaxies and number of star clusters. With these data, we can measure the star clusters correlations, and identify if local (star clusters) or global (galactic) properties are driving the observed correlations.



ASTRO 3D Fellow