case western reserve university



New Clues from Old Star Clusters of the Galactic Disk

Eileen Friel (NSF)

The Galactic open cluster population has long been used as a probe of the structure or the Galactic disk and a timeline for studying its evolution. With ages that range up to 10-12 billion years and positions that span a large range in Galactocentric distances, the open clusters provide a broad sample with which to investigate issues such as the history of star formation in the Galaxy, the chemical evolution of the disk, and the competing influences of cluster formation and disruption that mold the properties of the present day cluster population.