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Initial Conditions of YMCs, Birth of OB associations and long term evolution of stellar clusters

Project description

First ever application of numerical methods to evolution of star clusters

Although we use human terminology when talking about stellar nurseries and the birth of stars, stars are in fact typically 'born' in large clusters. Stars develop from gravitational collapse of molecular clouds of gas. Star clusters form from aggregates of these stars bound together by gravity for a long period of time. Galaxies comprise of many such clusters. Better understanding of the evolution of star clusters thus has important implications for numerous topics in astronomy. The EU-funded ICYBOB project is developing the first numerical simulations of stellar cluster evolution which span from galaxies to the formation of individual stars. The outcomes will also support observational experiments around the world.

Objective

The goal of this proposal is to establish a new era of stellar cluster evolution research by performing numerical simulations on different scales, and of different stages of a cluster’s life, from the formation of YMCs, the formation and evolution of OB associations, to the evolution of clusters and associations in galaxies. The PI is one of the pioneers of galactic simulations of GMC and star formation was one of the first numericists to perform galactic scale simulations of molecular cloud formation and evolution, and has produced some of the most realistic and sophisticated isolated simulations of galaxies in this field to date. The next challenge is to follow cluster evolution, something which has not yet been attempted numerically. And, with the GaiaAIA instrument set to transform stellar astronomy in our Galaxy, our work will provide a fundamental theoretical counterpart. Key questions we will address include i) how does gas disperse from new clusters and what happens to that gas, ii) how do YMCs form, iii) how do new clustersGiant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) evolve into OB associations, and ivii) how long can clusters survive for as they orbit a galaxy and what causes their destruction.

Keywords

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Coordinator

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
Net EU contribution
€ 1 980 385,00
Address
The queen's drive northcote house
EX4 4QJ Exeter
United Kingdom

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Region
South West (England) Devon Devon CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
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Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)