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1. Compact, young star clusters are very common in a wide range of starburst environments. The formation of bound clusters appears to be a major, if not ubiquitous, mode of star formation in starbursts systems.

2. A new HST imaging survey in the UV bandpass confirms the widespread occurance of compact clusters, even in relatively ``normal'' galaxies. Star-forming circumnuclear rings often contain rich populations of clusters.

3. The clusters are young (ages ranging from a few to a few hundred Myr), compact (half-light radii leq few parsecs), and have a wide range of luminosities. The masses of the clusters, as inferred from their photometric properties, generally lie in the range of 104-106 Msun. The luminosity function can be represented by a power law with a slope of approximately -2. The most luminous members - the so-called super star clusters - have luminosities up to 1-2 orders of magnitude higher than that of the R136 cluster in 30 Doradus.

4. Two nearby examples of super star clusters (in NGC 1569 and NGC 1705) have dynamical masses, mass densities, and predicted mass-to-light ratios that are virtually indistinguishable from those of evolved globular clusters in the Galaxy. This provides compelling evidence that at least some super star clusters truly are present-day analogs of young globular clusters.


I thank my principal collaborators Aaron Barth, Alex Filippenko, and Dani Maoz for permission to discuss our results prior to publication. Aaron Barth and Alex Filippenko provided useful comments on a draft of this manuscript. Deidre Hunter kindly made available some digital images used in my talk. I am grateful to the scientific organizing committee for inviting me to the meeting and the local organizing committee for their warm hospitality that made my visit to Mexico so enjoyable. My research is funded by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

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