Star cluster formation in spiral galaxies

Spiral arms are the birth places of star clusters in disc galaxies. The strength of these may affect how the stars are distributed over time. I develop and analyse simulations of star formation in spiral galaxies, to study when and where stars form and how these stellar birth regions develop over time.


For these simulations, many elements are important to include, such as gas dynamics, stellar dynamics, stellar evolution and feedback. I employ AMUSE to combine these elements in the Ekster module.


In the Ekster module, I combine gas dynamics (via the SPH code Phantom), stellar dynamics (via the direct N-body code ph4) and stellar evolution (SeBa). Support for feedback (e.g. ionisation, stellar winds, supernovae) is under development.


For visualisation of these simulations, I use Fresco, which simulates how a group of stars would look if observed by a telescope such as Hubble. Fresco also visualises the extinction by dust (via a fixed gas-to-dust ratio).