Special Session SS9  28 June 2017

Understanding the environmental dependence of star formation: the importance of Big Data

Aims and scope

Star formation involves the non-linear and complex interplay between many physical processes on a wide range of physical scales. Understanding the statistical outcome of star formation as a function of the environment requires the use of large data sets. The main goals of this special session are to focus on large observational and numerical simulations data sets, along with theoretical models and statistical methods in order to:

A) Present a comprehensive inventory of the physical conditions that prevail in star forming regions in the Galaxy and in nearby galaxies. This includes examining the distribution functions of quantities such as pressure, temperature, magnetic fields strength and morphology, the dynamics of gas (e.g., turbulence scaling laws, shear strength), the intensity of the radiation field, and chemical composition.

B) Make an assessment of the observed variations in the properties of young stellar clusters in the Milky Way and in nearby galaxies. Measurements of interest include, among other, the stellar initial mass function, the spatial structure of clusters, the star formation efficiency, and age spreads.

C) Discuss the physical processes that (may) account for some of the variations in the outcome of star formation from a theoretical point of view, and examine theoretical models and numerical simulations that attempt to explain the observed variations in star forming regions and young stellar clusters.

The symposium will run over 3 blocks of 1.5 hours each. Each session will start with an opening talk of 25+5 min, followed by shorter talks and flash poster presentations. Session I is devoted to the initial conditions of star formation. Session II will cover the observed variations in the outcome of the star formation process (i.e., in young clusters and associations), and the focus of Session III is to discuss theoretical models and numerical simulations that explore the parameter space and that can predict and/or explain some of the observed variations.

Session image made using a WISE data image of IC 410 (credit: Francesco Antonucci)


  • Session I: distribution functions of the initial conditions in star forming regions: temperatures, turbulence, magnetic fields
  • Session II: distribution functions of the properties of young clusters: IMF, structure, SFE, age spreads
  • Session III: theoretical models & large sets of numerical simulations of star cluster formation

Invited speakers

  • Yancy Shirley (U. of Arizona)
  • Dimitrios Gouliermis (ITA, Heidelberg)
  • Shantanu Basu (UWO & CITA)
  • Scientific organisers

  • Sami Dib (U. of Atacama, Copiapo) (co-chair)
  • Sacha Hony (ITA, Heidelberg) (co-chair)
  • João Alves (Vienna)
  • Guillermo Blanc (U. de Chile, Santiago)
  • Davide Elia (INAF-IAPS, Rome)
  • Jes Jørgensen (NBI & Starplan, Copenhagen)
  • Vera Konyves (CEA, Saclay)
  • Estelle Moraux (IPAG, Grenoble)
  • Paolo Padoan (ICREA & ICC, Barcelona)
  • Sarah Ragan (Cardiff)
  • Contact
    Sami Dib (sdib-at-nbi.dk), Sacha Hony (sacha.hony-at-uni-heidelberg.de)

    Updated on Fri Apr 07 14:30:09 CEST 2017