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Embedded clusters as laboratories of star formations
  Astronomy and astrophysics

Friday 07 February 2014
from 10:30 to 11:30
at FA31
Speaker : Arjan Bik (Stockholm University)
Abstract : Massive stars are typically observed to form in clustered environments, with morphologies ranging from very dense, centrally concentrated starburst clusters to loose associations. These associations and clusters are morphologically and dynamically different. It is not clear if these differences arise from different initial conditions in the star formation process or environmental effects, like triggered star formation. We have started a large observational campaign to derive the star formation history of several massive star formation complexes in order to reconstruct the star formation mechanisms. Based on the several regions we have analysed, I will demonstrate that near-infrared spectroscopy and photometry using LBT and VLT, combined with a large suite of multi-wavelength observations allow us to obtain a detailed picture of the stellar clusters and their stellar populations. The near-infrared visible stellar population is typically a few Myr old, but mid-IR and (sub) mm data reveal more deeply embedded and younger star forming regions in the vincinity. Different stellar populations are found in many embedded clusters, suggesting that the star formation history is much more complex than a single star formation event. I will discuss the subject of age spread in embedded clusters and present a case we we do find evidence of age spread and compare it to other clusters where no age spread has been found.

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