In recent years, a number of extragalactic massive star clusters that are still deeply embedded in their birth material have been discovered. These objects represent the youngest stage of massive star cluster evolution yet observed, and the most massive and dense of these may be proto globular clusters. Their properties appear to be similar to those of ultracompact HII regions in the Galaxy, but scaled up in total mass and luminosity. In many cases, these clusters are only visible at mid-IR to radio wavelengths, and they have typically been detected as ``inverted'' spectrum radio sources. However, the set of existing observations is anemic, and our current physical model for these natal clusters in simplistic. This article will overview what we think we know about these objects based on existing observations and outline some of the most significant gaps in our current understanding.
The Formation and Evolution of Massive Young Star Clusters
- Pub Date:
- December 2004
- 8 pages, 8 figures, to appear in "The Formation and Evolution of Massive Young Star Clusters," eds. H. Lamers, A. Nota and L. Smith (San Francisco: ASP)