MODEST10 Conference

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Dense stellar clusters are the birth places of stars and planetary systems, and form the building blocks of galaxies. The complex interplay between stellar dynamics, stellar evolution, and hydrodynamics makes them challenging to accurately model. In recent years, significant progress has been made in the fields of N-body dynamics, hydrodynamics, radiative transport, and stellar evolution, and powerful hardware (GPUs and GRAPEs) has become available to vastly speed up simulations. In addition, a wealth of observational data have become available, and will emerge in the near future (LAMOST, GAIA). The combination of these advances has increased our understanding related to a range of fundamental topics in astronomy: star cluster formation and evolution, star formation, planetary dynamics, stellar structure and evolution, dynamics of the galactic centre, the formation and evolution of galaxies, and cosmology. At the same time, fresh problems have emerged which challenge the basic paradigm of almost all recent work. Once regarded as an example of simple stellar populations, born simultaneously, rich clusters are known to have a more complicated history, which affects everything, from their dynamical evolution to their composition.

Understanding the formation and evolution of star clusters is a challenging task which requires the collaboration and the exchange of ideas of astronomers, physicists, and computer scientists with observational and theoretical expertise in galactic and extragalactic astronomy, stellar dynamics, hydrodynamics, stellar evolution, and software/hardware development.

The MODEST (Modeling Dense Stellar Clusters) collaboration is a loosely knit international collaboration between various groups working in stellar dynamics, stellar evolution, stellar hydrodynamics, and related research areas. One of the main activities of the collaboration is to provide a software framework for large-scale simulations of dense stellar systems, in which existing codes for dynamics, stellar evolution, and hydrodynamics can be easily coupled, and place them in the appropriate observational context.

This MODEST-10 workshop focuses primarily on, but is not limited to:

1. The formation and evolution of star clusters, from birth to death, including the issues of infant mortality, stellar multiplicity, the initial mass function, mass segregation, and the effect of tidal fields
2. Resolved globular clusters and globular cluster systems in nearby and distant galaxies
3. Dwarf galaxies, the formation of tidal dwarfs and nuclear star clusters
4. Exotic objects in dense stellar systems (blue stragglers, contact binaries, black holes, and other compact objects)
5. The dynamics of planetary systems in star cluster environments
6. Modeling of galactic nuclei, including our own galactic centre; the interaction between stars, star clusters and supermassive black holes
7. Comparison between observations and simulations; preparing for large surveys in the upcoming decade
8. High-performance computational facilities (GPUs, GRAPEs, supercomputers) and innovative computing environments (grids, MUSE)