Mass loss and evolution of stars and star clusters: a personal historical perspective

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The development and progress of the studies of winds and mass loss from hot stars, from about 1965 up to now, is discussed in a personal historical perspective. The present state of knowledge about stellar winds, based on papers presented at this workshop, is described. About ten years ago the mechanisms of the winds were reasonably well understood, the mass loss rates were known, and the predictions of stellar evolution theory with mass loss agreed with observations. However, recent studies especially those based on FUSE observations, have resulted in a significant reduction of the mass loss rates, that disagrees with predictions from radiation driven wind models. The situation is discussed and future studies that can clarify the situation are suggested. I also discuss what is known about the dissolution of star clusters in different environments. The dissolution time can be derived from the mass and age distributions of cluster samples. The resulting dissolution times of clusters in the solar neighborhood (SN) and in interacting galaxies are shorter than predicted by two-body relaxation of clusters in a tidal field. Encounters with giant molecular clouds can explain the fate of clusters in the SN and are the most likely cause of the short lifetime of clusters in interacting galaxies.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationMass loss from stars and the evolution of stellar clusters : proceedings of a workshop held at Lunteren, The Netherlands 29 May - 1 June 2006
EditorsA. de Koter, L.J. Smith, L.B.F.M. Waters
Place of PublicationSan Francisco
PublisherAstronomical Society of the Pacific
Number of pages471
ISBN (Print)978-1-58381-644-8
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NameAstronomical Society of the Pacific conference series

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