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Project area/S

  • The Local Universe

Project Details

Our Galaxy has about 150 globular clusters (GCs), each of which is older than 10 Gyr and has more than 100,000 stars within just 10pc. The origin of these ancient star clusters has long been one of key problems in the Galaxy formation. In this project, students will use computer simulations of dwarf galaxies, which are the building blocks of the Galaxy, and thereby try to investigate how the GCs were formed within dwarf galaxies. Students will particularly investigate the roles of energetic feedback effects from supernovae and asymptotic giant branch stars in the formation of GCs within dwarf galaxies. The expected outcomes of this project include (i) the first construction of GC formation models, (ii) prediction of chemical abundance patters in GCs, and (iii) deeper understanding of the formation processes of GCs within the Galactic building blocks.

Student Attributes

Academic Background

Basic astronomical knowledge.

Computing Skills
As long as students can analyze simulation data using any software (e.g., Mathematica) or computer programming (e.g., Python), it should be fine. Very good programming skill is not required. Simulations will be performed on the GPU clusters at ICRAR. If necessary, they will be done on OzSTAR GPU cluster too. But students do not need to be familiar with these simulations.

Training Requirement
Student will learn how to analyze the data from computer simulations of galaxies using, e.g., Python, Fortran, C, etc.

Project Timeline

  • Week 1 Inductions and project introduction
  • Week 2 Initial Presentation
  • Week 3 Performance of computer simulations of GC formation
  • Week 4 As above
  • Week 5 Analysis of the simulation data to derive the physical properties of GCs (structure parameters of GCs)
  • Week 6 The same as Week 5, but for the chemical abundances of the simulated GCs
  • Week 7 Discussion on the origin of the derived physical properties of the simulated GCs
  • Week 8 Understanding the origin of GC formation in the early Galaxy formation
  • Week 9 Final Presentation
  • Week 10 Final Report
Galactic Globular Cluster M15

The Galactic globular cluster M15 (Credit: APOD). In this project, students will try to understand the formation of globular clusters using the results of computer simulations.