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Dynamical Processing of Stars and Planets Through Star Clusters

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Judith Moss.

Most stars are born in clustered environments that are far denser than the Solar Neighborhood. Yet, star clusters can be hostile environments, where close stellar encounters can be frequent and can have violent consequences, including direct stellar collisions. Such encounters can dramatically alter stellar and planetary systems, and can produce exotic stars that define new pathways in stellar volution. Understanding how, and to what extent, such dynamical processing occurs in star clusters may be critical for our understanding of the architectures of today’s observed stellar and planetary systems, as well as the origins of X-ray sources, blue stragglers and other exotic stars. In this talk, I will discuss results from our ground- and space-based observations and sophisticated N-body numerical simulations that are beginning to reveal a highly accurate and detailed picture of the impacts of the dynamical environments of star clusters on their inhabitants.

This talk is part of the Institute of Astronomy Extra Talks series.

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