Obscured star cluster population in the Milky Way
Thesis Supervisor: Valentin Ivanov
The recent large area infrared surveys have yielded a surprising number of new star clusters in the Milky Way. Still, only a few appear to be massive and the currently know number of clusters with masses >=10^4 Msun us only about a dozen, while the estimates put the expected number of such objects in the range of 60-100. Where are the rest of these objects?
Over the years I have worked on a project to find new obscured clusters and to characterize them. The project has yielded one new young massive cluster and two new globulars. We have at hand a wealth of deep near-IR imaging and spectroscopy of more candidates, that will could become the basis of a thesis. The student will have access to the UKIDSS and VISTA data for new cluster searches. The project will also include some computer simulations to estimate the completeness of the searches, so working knowledge of C or FORTRAN is a plus.