Jessica Lu

Closed (1) The most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way

Applications for fall 2021 are now closed for this project.

For the last decade, we have been studying the most massive young star clusters in the Milky Way in order to understand if the birth of stars is effected by their environment. Unlike the solar neighborhood, these star clusters are 100 times more dense and stars are born in gas that is hotter and more turbulent. However, these clusters are difficult to study as they are further away and reside in crowded regions of they sky with many non-cluster stars. We have been observing several massive young clusters with the Hubble Space Telescope over the past decade in order to use stars' motion on the sky to clearly identify cluster members, measure the cluster members' properties, and compare them to lower-mass clusters in the Solar neighborhood.

The undergraduate student will be working with Hubble Space Telescope data and catalogs of multi-year and multi-color data on each star cluster. The student will be using these catalogs and to fit various models to determine the clusters properties including age, initial mass function, total mass, distance, and dynamical state.

Qualifications: - some experience with programming (python preferable, but not necessary) - exposure to an intro astronomy course (major or non-major) is desirable but not essential - astronomy, physics, CS, or engineering majors or intended majors are encouraged to apply

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Off-Campus Research Site: (remote work is fine)

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