Astrophysics Seminar: Prof. Emanuele Dalessandro, INAF, Bologna


Location: 184 Nieuwland Science Hall (View on map )

Globular clusters at the crossroad of star and galaxy formation

Prof. Emanuele Dalessandro
INAF, Bologna

Globular clusters are key benchmarks in many fields of Astrophysics, ranging from stellar evolution and dynamics, to star and galaxy formation and assembly. However, their use as standard templates strongly relies on our understanding of when, how and why star clusters form. In this context, I will present some of the latest observational advances in the field based on dedicated large photometric, astrometric and spectroscopic surveys. I will focus in particular on two aspects that exploit both very young and old systems to trace cluster formation across the cosmic time.
First, I will discuss how the present-day structural and kinematic properties of old (10-13 Gyr) globular clusters' sub-populations can provide new insights on massive cluster formation at high-redshift and how these results can be eventually combined with JWST and E-ELT observations of proto-globulars in the early Universe.
Secondly, I will show first results of an extensive study targeting young massive clusters (10-100 Myr) and associations in the Galactic disk and providing the first direct evidence of ongoing massive cluster hierarchical assembly processes in our `courtyard'. Our study would introduce a possible new picture in which the different appearance and properties of young stellar aggregates and old globular clusters can be interpreted as the morphological evidence of different evolutionary phases of the same hierarchical assembly process. 
Finally, I will discuss how upcoming large spectroscopic surveys (such as ESO-VLT/MOONS and ING/WEAVE), can provide key constraints on the process of cluster formation and early evolution and can help to disentangle the effects induced by the environment.

Hosted by Prof. Kirby