SCYON Abstract

Received on March 9 2006

Star Cluster Evolution: From young massive star clusters to old globulars

AuthorsRichard de Grijs
University of Sheffield, UK
To appear inTo appear in "Globular Clusters - Guides to Galaxies", FONDAP-ESO Conf., March 2006, Concepción (Chile), Richtler T., Larsen S.S., eds., Springer: Heidelberg


Young, massive star clusters are the most notable and significant end products of violent star-forming episodes triggered by galaxy collisions, mergers, and close encounters. The question remains, however, whether or not at least a fraction of the compact YMCs seen in abundance in extragalactic starbursts, are potentially the progenitors of globular cluster (GC)-type objects. However, because of the lack of a statistically significant sample of similar nearby objects we need to resort to either statistical arguments or to the painstaking approach of case by case studies of individual objects in more distant galaxies. Despite the difficulties inherent to addressing this issue conclusively, an ever increasing body of observational evidence lends support to the scenario that GCs, which were once thought to be the oldest building blocks of galaxies, are still forming today.