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Paper: The Nuclei of Late-type Spiral Galaxies
Volume: 322, The Formation and Evolution of Massive Young Star Clusters
Page: 39
Authors: Boker, T.; Walcher, C.J.; Rix, H.W.; Haring, N.; Schinnerer, E.; Sarzi, M.; van der Marel, R.P.; Ho, L.C.; Shields, J.C.; Lisenfeld, U.; Laine, S.
Abstract: We summarize some recent results from our observational campaign to study the central regions of spiral galaxies of late Hubble type (Scd - Sm). These disk-dominated, bulgeless galaxies have an apparently uneventful merger history. The evolution of their nuclei thus holds important constraints on the mechanisms that are responsible for bulge formation and nuclear activity in spiral galaxies. We discuss the structural properties, stellar populations, and dynamical masses of the compact, luminous star cluster that is found in the nuclei of most late-type spiral galaxies. Although preliminary, our results strongly indicate that many galaxies of our sample experience repeated periods of nuclear star formation. While the exact mechanism that leads to the required high gas densities in the galaxy nucleus remains unclear, results from our recent CO survey of late-type spirals demonstrate that in most cases, the central kpc contains enough molecular gas to support repetitive nuclear starbursts.
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