to IAU
Symposium 241

Abstract details

The destruction of star clusters in different environments
Henny Lamers and Mark Gieles

Star clusters do not live forever. We have empirically derived the dissolution times of starclusters as a function of their initial mass in seven different galaxies from the age and mass distributions of cluster samples. The dissolution times depend very strongly on the local conditions in those galaxies. We explain these differences by taking into account the following effects: (a) tidal stripping (b) stellar evolution (c) spiral arm shocking (d) shocking by encounters with giant molecular clouds. The relative contributions of these effects differ strongly from galaxy to galaxy and can explain the large differences in the empirically derived dissolution times. We will show that the dissolution of star clusters has a strong effect on the quantitative interpretation of the observed luminosity and age distributions.

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