Alina Boecker (Germany)
boecker @ mpia.de
Unveiling Nuclear Star Cluster Formation and their Connection to Galaxy Properties
Nuclear Star Clusters reside at the center of the gravitational potential of many galaxies - they are very compact and luminous stellar systems. Their formation however is still unclear, but two popular scenarios persist: in-situ formation through the funneling of gas to the center, which results in star formation or a merger scenario, where globular clusters fall to the center via dynamical friction. Either scenario leaves a distinct imprint on the stellar population and kinematic properties of the nuclear star cluster, which I will study with state-of-the-art techniques from their integrated spectra and compare to N-body simulations. The evolution of the star cluster can in return be linked back to the host galaxy’s properties, which can be studied with similar techniques. Hence, this will provide a unique opportunity to embed nuclear star clusters into our understanding of galaxy evolution and connect it back to cosmological models.
Supervisor: Nadine Neumayer (MPIA)