The early evolution of star clusters is one aspect of the formation of our Universe which is not yet completely understood. When stars are born they develop from large clouds of molecular gas, clusters composed of hundreds of solar masses of material. Early in the formation of our Galaxy large clusters formed from giant molecular clouds. Each cluster contains over 10,000 members. These clusters, appearing very compact, contain the oldest stars in the Universe. Understanding the changes in their lifetime helps us understand the formation of our Universe.
In the past decade, our picture of star and cluster formation has changed hugely and we now believe that many — if not most — stars form in clusters, and the process of star and cluster formation is extremely rapid and dynamic. Using the Astrophysical Multipurpose Software Environment (AMUSE), a simulation can be made that mimics the exact circumstances of such a cluster.
There is still much uncertainty about the effects of climate change on the North Atlantic Ocean circulation, which affects both sea level and temperature in the region. Climate models indicate that the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the next decades may cause changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC, the ocean circulation responsible for the meridional heat transport).
The goal of the eSALSA project is to increase our understanding of the regional effects caused by changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) by utilizing an eddy-resolving ocean model, the Parallel Ocean Model (POP), to determine sea level changes with an unprecedented level of detail (10 km resolution).
There is a growing interest from companies, governments and universities in the daily communication that takes place on online social media such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. Linguists and researchers in communication studies can use this data to study language variation and change. Companies may track reputation of a product after its introduction. Journalists may follow the spread of news messages and spot initial local reports of incidents. Police may monitor Twitter for suspicious behavior. However, the amount of social media data is large and obtaining specific parts that are interesting for a certain purpose, is not easy.
Bird behavior varies for different species and types of birds, and even between genders. To understand bird behavior, we have to track their movement and behavior at multiple scales in space and time – no easy task. At the University of Amsterdam a team of researchers have developed a bird tracking system (UvA-BiTS) designed to answer the needs of people with diverse research aims. In the summer of 2008 the team did the first tests with their newly developed GPS trackers. Since then, tags have been deployed on many bird species including Oystercatchers, Crows, Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Montagu’s Harriers, Honey Buzzards, Common Buzzards, Storks, Brent Geese (all in the Netherlands), Crab Plovers (in Oman), Stone Curlews (in Israel), Great Skua (on the Shetland Islands), Griffon Vultures (in France and Spain), and Verreaux’s Eagle (South Africa).
If you would know that ten days from now a flood will be at your doorstep, what would you do? You would have time to prepare emergency measures but also move your belongings to higher grounds. It might even be possible to sacrifice inexpensive farmland to save a central business district. Ten days can make a major difference. This is exactly the aim of the eWaterCycle project: to predict flood and drought events 10 days in advance, worldwide and in high resolution. The featured movie shows a setting in which the city of Mandalay is saved from a hypothetical flood. The model can act as an early warning system and enable companies, people and governments to prepare for the rising water.