Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Andrea Stolte
Title Milky Way Starburst Clusters

The past few years have seen substantial novelties in starburst cluster research. High-spatial resolution observations enabled a detailed study of the dynamical properties and long-term stability of starburst clusters. The precise astrometric and spectroscopic observations led to the first measurements of the intrinsic velocity dispersions in Milky Way starburst clusters, which in turn allowed the first derivation of dynamical masses of these young, massive systems. As dynamical masses are less prone to assumptions than extrapolations of the present-day stellar mass functions, they provide constraints on the universality of the initial stellar mass function in the most massive star forming environments observed in the Milky Way today. In this talk, I will review the state-of-the-art measurements of starburst cluster characteristics and compare their properties to the initial conditions derived from dynamical N-body simulations. Finally, I will briefly comment on the outstanding problems we will be able to study with the next generation suite of telescopes and instruments currently under design.