future events

Dynamical evolution of stellar systems: Globular Clusters and Galactic Nuclei

TYPEAstrophysics Seminar
Speaker:Alessandra Mastrobuono
Location:Lidow 620
Abstract:Dynamical evolution plays a key role in shaping the current properties of star clusters and star cluster systems. Globular Clusters (GCs) are ideal objects to explore many aspects of stellar dynamics and to investigate the dynamical and evolutionary mechanisms of their host galaxy. Due to dynamical friction GCs decay to the Galactic center and there they merge and contribute to the formation/accretion of a central Nuclear Star Cluster (NSC). This is known as the "merger model" for the formation of NSCs, observed at the center of many galaxies including the Milky Way (MW).
In this talk I will describe the results obtained exploring this model for the Galactic NSC formation, using high precision self consistent simulations. The decay, with the following merging of clusters in the central zone of the Galaxy and its following evolution due to two-body relaxation, generates a NSC that actually resembles the one observed at the center of the MW.
I will also present a new high performance code, NBSymple, which is an efficient N-body integrator implemented on a hybrid CPU+GPU platform, exploiting a double-parallelization on CPUs and on the hosted Graphic Processing Units (GPUs).
By mean of numerical simulations carried on with NBSymple, I investigated more in detail the dynamical evolution of GCs in the MW potential. In particular I studied the formation and characteristics of the tidal tails around Palomar 5, along its orbit in the Milky Way potential. By studying and comparing such simulations with observational data we could have a deeper knowledge of the shape of the Galactic potential and, more generally, of the Galactic dynamics.