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Small Stellar Systems 2013


Small Stellar Systems in Tuscany:
From Globular Clusters to Dwarf Galaxies and Everything in Between

10th - 14th June 2013, Prato, Italy



The aim of this conference is to bring together observers and theorists to discuss the latest observations and simulations of the "zoo of little things" including massive globular clusters (GCs), extended clusters (ECs), Ultra Compact Dwarfs (UCDs), dwarf galaxy transition objects (DGTOs), intermediate mass objects (IMOs), tidal dwarf galaxies (TDGs), dwarf elliptical (dE), dwarf spheroidal (dSph) and compact ellipticals (cE).

Meeting Overview

The distinction between dwarf galaxies and massive star clusters has become increasingly blurred. The parameter space of size and luminosity for small stellar systems is rapidly filling as one type of object overlaps with another. The stellar populations of massive star clusters are no longer "simple", with multiple populations of differing chemistry now commonly observed. Star clusters may appear to be dark matter free today and obey Newtonian dynamical laws, but there is less agreement over the presence and degree of dark matter in dwarf galaxies. The situation for intermediate-sized objects, such as Ultra Compact Dwarfs, is largely unknown. Sample sizes are often small limiting any statistical analysis.

The fundamental properties of these types of objects hold important clues to the origin and evolution of dwarf galaxies and massive star clusters. For example, are they ancient objects formed in a cosmological setting? Have they been recently modified via merging of smaller subunits or by the stripping of their outer layers? Or are they products of the later stages of galaxy building and clustering?


The conference will consist of 4.5 days of Talks (and Posters). All talks and poster presentations have now been decided. Ample question time will be allocated after each talk. There are two sessions consisting of short presentations on "hot topics", with the toping being: "What is the origin of Ultra Compact Dwarfs?", and "Globular Cluster bimodality".

Please note the conference is now full, and registration is closed.


Duncan Forbes (co-chair) Samantha Penny (co-chair) Jay Gallagher Jean Brodie Pavel Kroupa Chris Conselice Giampaolo Piotto Thorsten Lisker