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Discovering the building blocks of nuclear star clusters

23 May 2020, 09:30 UTC
Discovering the building blocks of nuclear star clusters
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Title: The Three Young Nuclear Super Star Clusters in NGC 5253Authors: Linda J. Smith, Varun Bajaj, Jenna Ryon, and Elena SabbiFirst Author’s Institution: Space Telescope Science Institute and European Space Agency, 3700 San Martin Drive, Baltimore, MD 21218Status: Accepted to ApJIt’s well observed that stars form in clumps, known as star clusters. Around 70% of all galaxies are observed to contain star clusters in their centre (or ‘nucleus’), known as nuclear star clusters (NSCs), but it is not clear how they actually came to be there. In addition to how nuclear star clusters actually form, a heavily debated question is where they form. The two mostly likely formation scenarios are either the formation of clusters elsewhere in the galaxy which migrate inwards, known as migration, or the in-situ formation of clusters in the centre triggered by infalling gas. This Astrobite gives an overview of these scenarios in more detail.Today’s paper, almost inadvertently, contributes a really valuable piece of observational insight into the formation of nuclear star clusters.Just like graduate students who enjoy leaving things to the last minute, star cluster formation thrives under high pressure. In environments such as in the nucleus (centre) of galaxies, pressures become high enough to ...

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