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Paper: Collateral Damage: the Implications of Utrecht Star Cluster Astrophysics for Galaxy Evolution
Volume: 470, 370 Years of Astronomy in Utrecht
Page: 347
Authors: Kruijssen, J. M. D.
Abstract: Until the early 2000s, the research portfolio of the Astronomical Institute in Utrecht (SIU) did not include galaxy evolution. Somewhat serendipitously, this changed with the advent of the star cluster group. In only a few years, a simple framework was developed to describe and quantify the properties of dynamically evolving star cluster populations. Since then, the ‘Utrecht cluster disruption model’ has shown that the galactic environment plays an important role in setting the evolution of stellar clusters. From this simple result, it follows that cluster populations bear some imprint of the characteristics and histories of their host galaxies, and that star clusters can be used to trace galaxy evolution—an aim for which the Utrecht star cluster models were never designed, but which they are well-capable of fulfilling. I review some of the work in this direction, with a strong emphasis on the contributions from the SIU.
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