|JD11- IAU 2003|
Dynamics and Evolution
of Dense Stellar Systems
|Sydney, Australia, 18 July 2003|
Young star clusters: progenitors of globular clusters?
Star cluster formation is a major mode of star formation in the extreme conditions of interacting galaxies and violent starbursts. Young clusters are observed to form in a variety of such galaxies, a substantial number resembling the well-studied globular clusters in mass and size, but with significantly enhanced metallicity. From studies of the metal-poor and metal-rich star cluster populations of galaxies, we therefore can learn about the violent star formation history of these galaxies, and eventually about galaxy formation and evolution. We will present a new set of evolutionary synthesis models of our GALEV code, with special emphasis on the gaseous emission of presently forming star clusters, and a new tool to compare extensive model grids with multi-color broad-band observations to determine independently the cluster masses, metallicities, ages and extinctions. First results of young clusters in mergers and starburst galaxies are presented and compared to the well-studied old globulars, and discussed in a general framework of galaxy formation / evolution. The determined young clusters' mass distributions give valuable input to dynamical star cluster system evolution models, regarding survival and destruction of clusters. We plan to investigate an age sequence of mergers, to see dynamical destruction effects in process.