The Milky Way nuclear star cluster beyond 1 pc

17 Apr

[2014IAUS..303..223F] Feldmeier, A.; Neumayer, N.; Seth, A.; de Zeeuw, P. T.; Schödel, R.; Lützgendorf, N.; Kissler-Patig, M.; Nishiyama, S.; Walcher, C. J.

iau_wbWithin the central 10 pc of our Galaxy lies a dense cluster of stars, the nuclear star cluster, forming a distinct component of our Galaxy. Nuclear star clusters are common objects and are detected in ˜75% of nearby galaxies. It is, however, not fully understood how nuclear clusters form. Because the Milky Way nuclear star cluster is at a distance of only 8 kpc, we can spatially resolve its stellar populations and kinematics much better than in external galaxies. This makes the Milky Way nuclear star cluster a reference object for understanding the structure and assembly history of all nuclear star clusters.