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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

Brendan Mullan (Penn State)

"Under Pressure: Star Clusters in the Tidal Debris of Interacting Galaxies"

Abstract. Dense clusters of stars consistently form in a variety of environments across the cosmic frontier. They are seen in our own backyard within the Milky Way, to our isolated, quiescent galactic neighbors, to the vibrant interiors of colliding galaxies. The dispersed, intergalactic wreckage of galaxy interactions can also be home to young, luminous star clusters, but not always. The question is why -- what is it about the physics of galactic encounters and the insterstellar medium they tear from their progenitor systems that encourages star cluster formation in some tidal debris regions but not others? I will discuss the important first steps in characterizing the star cluster populations and underlying HI environments of tidal debris our research group, "Team Tidal Tail," have taken in our ongoing mission to answer this question.

Held in the AAO Large Meeting Room (Room 1, Ground Floor, Building 3) at 11:00 AM on Thursday, 22 November 2012