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Radii, rotation, and relaxation: stellar populations and kinematics of young open clusters

Kevin Covey, TBA
Thursday, November 12, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
PAA A-102

​Young clusters are a primary site of Milky Way star formation, and an important dynamic and radiative environment for planet formation. Measurements of the properties of young clusters (e.g., velocity dispersions and star formation histories) and the stars forming within them (e.g, rotation rates and radii) provide the opportunity to test theoretical models of stellar evolution and cluster formation (and dissolution). I will begin with an overview of results from the Infrared Survey of Young Nebulous Clusters (IN-SYNC), an SDSS-III ancillary program using the APOGEE multi-object infrared spectrograph to characterize the kinematics and stellar properties of young stars in the Perseus and Orion molecular clouds. These observations have revealed the dynamical effects of gas expulsion on the internal kinematics of young clusters, and place a new upper limit on the duration of star formation events within these regions. I will also present results from recent wide-field multi-epoch photometric monitoring programs targeting nearby open clusters; these surveys reveal anomalies in the assumed colors and rotational evolution of low-mass stars, and have uncovered new eclipsing binaries that provide tests for stellar evolution models of unprecedented precision.

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