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Globular clusters (GCs) are very old (12 Gyr) stellar systems consisting of about a million of stars. Terzan 5, which is one of the Galactic GCs, has been recently observed to have two distinct stellar populations with vastly different ages, 4.5 Gyr and 12 Gyr old, and different metallicities. The origin of such two distinct populations in just one GC remains unclear. In this project, students investigate how such an intriguing GC can be formed in the Galaxy using computer simulations of GC formation in the Galaxy. One possible scenario is that this GC was formed from merging between two GCs with different ages. However, it is not clear when and where they met to merge with each other. This project will reveal (i) how such GC merging was possible and (ii) whether or not the physical properties of the merged GCs are consistent with corresponding observations (e.g., mass fraction of younger population and metallicity differences between the two populations).

Pdf Project Description and Timeline