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Mubdi Rahman (University of Toronto)

The Milky Way's Most Luminous Star Clusters: Engines of Galaxy Evolution - Mubdi Rahman Colloquium

The Australia Telescope National Facility Colloquium
15:30-16:30 Wed 13 Jul 2011

ATNF Marsfield Lecture Theatre


Massive Young Star Clusters and OB Associations (M > 10 000 solar masses) dominate the star formation rate within our Galaxy. They contain the most massive (and luminous) stars in the Galaxy, that in turn shape their surrounding environment through their winds, ionizing flux, radiation pressure, and eventually their supernovae. Through these violent processes, they destroy their natal molecular clouds and inflate superbubbles that erupt from the Galactic plane. Until recently, few such clusters have been identified in our Galaxy. In this talk, I will present the identification of these young star clusters and OB associations embedded in the most luminous star forming complexes as identified by WMAP and Spitzer GLIMPSE. One of these is the Dragonfish Association, a 10^5 solar mass OB association which is the most massive in our Galaxy. I will discuss how a complete Galactic picture of star
formation will aid us in understanding the physics of galaxy evolution, from better measuring extragalactic star formation rates to decoding galactic archaeology.

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