Near-infrared eyes to observe obscured and massive young stellar clusters

The advent of IR surveys such as 2MASS (Skrutskie et al. 2006), GLIMPSE (Benjamin et al. 2003), UKIDSS (Lawrence et al. 2007), or Vista-VVV ESO Public Survey (Minniti et al. 2010), has changed our vision of the Milky Way star formation and improved the census of its massive stellar content. Within a decade we passed from a passive and quiet galaxy, with low formation rate, to an active machinery with regions of intense star formation. We have discovered in our galaxy new massive stellar clusters, containing remarkable massive stellar populations (like the Arches, Quintuplet and RSGC1 clusters, Figer et al. 2000, 1999, 2006; or the Alicante clusters, like Alicante 7 a.k.a. RSGC5, Negueruela et al., 2011, just to mention a few). We also unveiled massive stellar populations in already known stellar clusters (v.g. CygOB2, Knödlseder, 2000; Westerlund1, Clark & Negueruela, 2002). These discoveries seem to be just the tip of a massive iceberg: according to Hanson & Popescu (2008), hundreds of galactic massive stellar clusters would still remain unknown. In this talk I will present two projects dedicated to the discovery and characterisation of massive clusters in the Milky Way: the project MASGOMAS (MAssive Stars in Galactic Obscured MAssive clusterS), focused on the automatic detection of clusters candidates using the 2MASS data (Ramírez Alegría et al. 2012, 2014) and the VVV Open Clusters Project (Borissova et al. 2011, 2014; Chené et al. 2012, 2013, 2015; Ramírez Alegría et al. 2014, 2016), based on the characterization of cluster candidates from the VVV Survey and the Borissova's cluster candidates catalogues.