Clusters and the Galactic Halo

  • I. Neill ReidEmail author
Part of the Saas-Fee Advanced Course book series (SAASFEE, volume 42)


The Galactic Halo has long ceased to be a site of active star formation, but, as the first members of the Milky Way, halo stars have played a crucial role in probing the initial stages of galaxy formation. In particular, this year sees the fiftieth anniversary of one of the seminal works in that field, an analysis of the motions of a relatively small sample of high-velocity, metal-poor stars by Olin Eggen, Donald Lynden-Bell and Allan Sandage (ELS). This chapter aims to put that analysis in context, describing the developing understanding of the nature of the halo and the subsequent impact of the ELS results for modeling galaxy formation. Globular clusters are the most prominent constituent of the halo. Long considered simple systems, the product of a single star-forming event, recent observations have shown that most, perhaps all, are multi-population systems, incorporating chemically distinct stellar components. We discuss the implications for the earliest stages of star formation in the Milky Way and other galaxies.


Dark Matter Star Formation Globular Cluster Stellar Population Dwarf Galaxy 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Space Telescope Science InstituteBaltimoreUSA

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