Institute of Astronomy

Photometric Distances Near and Far in the Age of Gaia

SpeakerTalk DateTalk Series
Josh Speagle (Harvard)3 April 2019Institute of Astronomy Seminars


I will discuss some recent work combining Gaia parallax measurements with broadband SED modelling to derive stellar properties (distances, reddenings, etc.).
In the first part of the seminar, I will present results from recent work where we were able to use this approach to derive probabilistic distance and reddening estimates to tens of thousands of stars in order to estimate robust distances to local molecular clouds. Our results appear to reveal a ~1.5kpc-long structure off of the local arm and the plane that connects several well-known star-forming regions.
In the second part of the seminar, I will discuss recent work trying to extend this approach to more complex stellar models in order to try and photometrically identify and characterize giants in the halo. Preliminary comparisons with new spectral data from he H3 Survey suggest it is possible to recover reasonable log(g) estimates from photometry with low-SNR Gaia parallax measurements.


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