Institute of Astronomy

Galactic Archeology - past, present, and future

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Sofia Feltzing, Lund Observatory30 April 2015Institute of Astronomy Colloquia


I will discuss the detailed study of the Milky Way stellar populations in the context of cosmological galaxy formation - an approach sometimes known as Galactic Archeology. The selection and launch of Gaia has re-invigorated
the interest in the study of the Milky Way as a galaxy. However, although
Gaia will give exquisite information on the stellar distances and their
on-sky motions stellar parameters will be known for only a small number of
the stars, and, worse, elemental abundances only for the very brightest
portion of the stars. Why is this important? Stars tell the history of
their host galaxy. They are time capsules that retain information about the
chemical composition in the gas they formed from. As elements are produced
in different stars on different time scales they give the timing of events.
Only spectra of stars allow us to obtain the elemental abundances. Such
spectra can be obtained with eas from ground-based observations. For this
reason a number of heavily multiplexed instruments are currently being
constructed and several surveys are already under way to obtain the relevant
spectral data.

During the talk I will review past findings, current status, and what the
on-going and future major surveys will hold. I will especially discuss 4MOST
and also high-light a few non-Galactic topics we will cover with 4MOST.


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