Open star clusters offer astronomers the unique opportunity to observe stars of comparable age and chemical composition at the same distance. A study under the direction of Associate Professor Dr Geneviève Parmentier at the Centre for Astronomy of Heidelberg University now shows that these clusters can have a much longer lifespan than previously assumed. The researchers used simulations to investigate how the formation conditions of a star cluster affect its long-term evolution. The simulations indicate that these star clusters exist for up to a billion years – 100 times longer than previously assumed.
"B. Shukirgaliyev, G. Parmentier, A. Just, P. Berczik: The long-term evolution of star clusters formed with a centrally-peaked star-formation-efficiency profile." The Astrophysical Journal (2018): 863: 171 (13pp); doi: 10.3847/1538-4357/aad3bf
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Dr Renate Hubele
Collaborative Research Centre 881 "The Milky Way System"
Tel: +49 6221 529-291