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Title: The formation of young star clusters in extreme environments
Author: Goddard, Q. E.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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Star clusters are fundamental building blocks of galaxies, and yet very little is known about young star clusters as they evolve unseen in the embedded phase. Using four band photometry of star clusters in NGC 3256 we are able to determine the chance of survival for star clusters over the course of the embedded phase, and combined with other data sets show a relationship between survivability and the star formation rate density. We also perform a detailed study of the XUV-disc phenomenon and their cluster population. Firstly we measure the broad properties of several XUV-disc galaxies in comparison to normal galaxies using surface photometry and individual object photometry. We reveal that these galaxies show a range of properties, some showing sharp edges in their Hα profiles whilst others do not, although all show a smoothly declining UV profile which extends beyond the optical edge of the disc. The HII regions in these outer discs appear to have luminosities consistent with single ionising O-type stars and have implied mass which suggest that the formation of the most massive stars is governed by stochastic processes. We also examine the spectra of HII regions in two XUV-disc galaxies, NGC 4625 and NGC 3621. Both galaxies show a shallower abundance gradient in the outer disc compared to the inner disc, yet NGC 4625 also shows a discontinuity close to the optical edge. This is of particular interest as NGC 3621 shows no sharp Hα and no discontinuity whilst NGC 4625 displays both of these features. The HII regions of both of these galaxies show properties different to bright inner disc HII regions, making abundance calculations less reliable.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available