Young Massive Clusters as probes of stellar evolution

Ben Davies

University of Leeds; Rochester Institute of Technology

oung Massive Clusters (YMCs) represent ideal testbeds in which to study massive stellar evolution as they contain large, coeval, chemically homogeneous, samples of massive stars. By studying YMCs with a range of ages (and hence turn-off masses), we can investigate the post main-sequence evolution of massive stars as a function of initial mass. Recent discoveries of YMCs over a range of ages within our own Galaxy - where we can successfully resolve individual stars - offers the unprecedented opportunity to test our ideas of massive stellar evolution. Here, I review some of the recent works in this field, and describe how we can use YMCs to investigate several topics, including (a) the evolutionary state of H-rich Wolf-Rayet stars; (b) the influence of binarity on stellar evolution in dense clusters; and (c) Red Supergiants and the post-supernova remnants they leave behind.

Reference: Review article to appear in the proceedings of "Hot and Cool: bridging the gaps in massive star evolution"
Status: Conference proceedings