Richard de Grijs (Kavli Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, Peking University)

Not-so-simple stellar populations in Local Group star clusters
When May 27, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
  • Special Seminar
  • Colloquium
Where SH, Lecture hall
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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 metallicity. 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. Yet, at the same time, star clusters are among the brightest stellar population components and, as such, they are visible out to much greater distances than individual stars, even the brightest, so that understanding the intricacies of star cluster composition and their evolution is imperative for understanding stellar populations and the evolution of galaxies as a whole. I will discuss my group's recent progress in this context, with particular emphasis on the properties and importance of binary systems, the effects of rapid stellar rotation, and the presence of multiple populations in Local Group star clusters across the full age range.