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Proper-motion studies of Milky Way starburst clusters – a new definition of starburst cluster templates

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  18 January 2010

Andrea Stolte
Affiliation:
I. Physikalisches Institut, University of Cologne, Zülpicher Str. 77, 50937 Köln, Germany email: astolte@ph1.uni-koeln.de
Wolfgang Brandner
Affiliation:
Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie, Königstuhl 17, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany email: brandner@mpia.de
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Abstract

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Starburst clusters in the Milky Way have the advantage that individual stars down to subsolar masses can be resolved. Thus far, field contamination along the line of sight towards the Galactic Centre and spiral arms was the limiting factor in deriving an unbiased census of the stellar population in Milky Way starbursts and, hence, the spatial extent and initial mass function in starburst clusters. As the next generation of telescopes with higher sensitivity and spatial resolution are being developed, these resolved clusters become increasingly important as templates for young, massive extragalactic systems, which will be resolved at the high-mass end of the stellar mass function. With the aim to obtain a uniform characterisation of starburst cluster properties in the Milky Way, we have initiated a proper-motion membership survey. This technique became feasible for clusters out to distances of 8 kpc with diffraction-limited imaging using adaptive optics from the ground and with Hubble Space Telescope from space.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2010

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