Starbirth in galaxy collisions

Richard De Grijs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Young, massive star clusters are the most notable and significant end products of violent star-forming episodes triggered by galaxy collisions, mergers and close encounters. Their contribution to the total luminosity induced by such extreme conditions dominates, by far, the overall energy output due to the gravitationally induced star-formation. The general characteristics of these newly formed clusters (such as mass, luminosity and size) suggest that at least a fraction may eventually evolve into equal, or perhaps slightly more massive, counterparts of the abundant old globular cluster systems in the local universe. Establishing whether or not such an evolutionary connection exists requires our detailed knowledge of not only the physics underlying the evolution of "simple" stellar populations, but also that of cluster disruption in the time-dependent gravitational potentials of interacting galaxies. Initial results seem to indicate that proto-globular clusters do indeed continue to form today, which would support hierarchical galaxy formation scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-19
Number of pages6
JournalAstronomy and Geophysics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes

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