The Australian National University

Gemini South Adaptive Optics Imager (GSAOI)


Young Stellar Super-Clusters:

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Deep J, H, and K imaging is required of Galactic and Magellanic Cloud analogs of the super star clusters identified in starburst galaxies. Super star clusters dominate the star formation in starburst galaxies, and have almost certainly been involved in the star formation history of the Galaxy. Understanding the stellar populations in these massive star-forming regions, and in particular the interplay between high- and low-mass star formation, is a key goal of this project. Mass functions ranging from the massive hot stars to cool objects below the hydrogen-burning limit will be studied in nearby young super star clusters such as NGC 3603 in the Galaxy and 30 Doradus in the Large Magellanic Cloud. Measurements in narrow-band filters (such as CO and Brackett gamma) will give information on the nature of the stellar populations.

30 Doradus Cluster

Images of the 30 Doradus star cluster in the Large Magellanic Cloud in the visible (left panels) and near-infrared (right panels) take from the ground (top panels) and with the Hubble Space Telescope (bottom panels). The fields of the GSAOI detectors are shown as four green squares in each frame.