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Galaxy formation through the eyes of globular clusters

Final Report Summary - CLUSTERS (Galaxy formation through the eyes of globular clusters)

CLUSTERS developed new dynamical models for globular clusters and compared them to state-of-the art observations from the Gaia and Hubble space telescopes and from ground-based facilities. The team found that several globular clusters contain a large population of stellar-mass BHs and that these have similar observational signatures as the sought-after intermediate-mass BH (IMBH). To understand the evolution of BH populations in clusters, a fast model for the evolution of star clusters with BHs was developed. This new model makes predictions for dynamically produces binary BH mergers, which forms the first population synthesis tool for gravitational waves that originate from dynamically formed binary BH mergers. The team also proposed a new formation mechanism for globular clusters, in which a supermassive star forms together with the cluster to explain the anomalous abundances that are ubiquities in globular clusters today.