Seminar Series

Not-so-simple stellar populations in nearby, resolved massive star clusters

Speaker

Richard de Grijs

Institute

Time & Place

Fri, 19 May 2017 11:00:00 NZST in Rutherford 531, Level 5

All are welcome

Abstract

Until about a decade ago, star clusters were considered "simple" stellar populations: all stars in a cluster were thought to have similar ages and the same chemical composition. Only the individual stellar masses were thought to vary, in essence conforming to a "universal" initial mass function. Over the past decade, this situation has changed dramatically. I will discuss my group's recent progress in this context, with particular emphasis on the properties and the alleged presence of multiple populations in star clusters in the nearest galaxies, across the full age range.  Our most recent results imply a reverse paradigm shift, back to the old simple stellar population picture for at least some intermediate- age (~2 Gyr-old) star clusters, which opens up exciting avenues for future research efforts.