The GRIFFIN Project - Formation of Star Clusters with Individual Massive Stars in a Simulated Dwarf Galaxy Starburst

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We describe a population of young star clusters (SCs) formed in a hydrodynamical simulation of a gas-rich dwarf galaxy merger resolved with individual massive stars at subparsec spatial resolution. The simulation is part of the griffin (Galaxy Realizations Including Feedback From INdividual massive stars) project. The star formation environment during the simulation spans seven orders of magnitude in gas surface density and thermal pressure, and the global star formation rate surface density (ΣSFR) varies by more than three orders of magnitude during the simulation. Young SCs more massive than form along a mass function with a power-law index α ∼ -1.7 (α ∼ -2 for) at all merger phases, while the normalization and the highest SC masses (up to ∼106 M o) correlate with ΣSFR. The cluster formation efficiency varies from Γ ∼ 20% in early merger phases to Γ ∼ 80% at the peak of the starburst and is compared to observations and model predictions. The massive SCs (⪆104 M o) have sizes and mean surface densities similar to observed young massive SCs. Simulated lower mass clusters appear slightly more concentrated than observed. All SCs form on timescales of a few Myr and lose their gas rapidly resulting in typical stellar age spreads between σ ∼ 0.1-2 Myr (1σ), consistent with observations. The age spreads increase with cluster mass, with the most massive cluster (∼106 M o) reaching a spread of 5 Myr once its hierarchical formation finishes. Our study shows that it is now feasible to investigate the SC population of entire galaxies with novel high-resolution numerical simulations.