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The Survival of Dense Star Clusters in the Milky Way System

19th November 2018   -   19th November 2018
Heidelberg, Germany
http://www.mpia.de/~mwstreams/
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Abstract

Globular clusters (GCs) provide a fossil record of our Galaxy’s assembly history and offer a unique way to uncover the past of the Milky Way (MW). Both in-situ and accreted GCs coevolve with the surrounding environment and lose stars in the presence of the MW’s tidal field. Simultaneously, dynamical friction drags the densest and most massive GCs towards the Galactic center. While the former external effects might ultimately destroy GCs, the latter mechanism suggests they are important contributors to the formation of the central nuclear star cluster (NSC). In addition, internal effects such as mass segregation, stellar remnants, binaries or intermediate mass black holes can remove stars from GCs in a more subtle way, ultimately altering their dynamical structure and providing escapee stars that contribute to the MW’s halo, disk or bulge. Given the recent advancements in Galactic surveys and modelling, now is an opportune time to better understand the interplay between these processes in the MW and unite both observers and theorists to focus on the engines that contribute to the survival and destruction of dense star clusters – i.e. GCs and NSCs – in our Galaxy. In this conference, we will address the joint evolution of the MW and its dense star clusters, with the goal of disentangling and constraining processes that decide the fate of a cluster and the stars it loses to their ever-changing host galaxy.

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