Found 49 talks archived in The Galaxy
One prediction of ΛCDM is the existence of partially phase-mixed substructures from accreted dwarf galaxies in the Milky Way stellar halo. Substructure originating in a single accretion event can be readily identified as a tight cluster of stars in phase space with similar chemical properties. Recently, the discovery of the Gaia Sausage Enceladus (GSE) has revolutionised our understanding of the complex assembly of the Milky Way halo. We present a review of the chemistry that characterises the last major merger that happened to the Milky Way some 9-10 Gy ago.
The formation and evolution of galaxies across cosmic time proceeds in different phases, paced by their internal evolution and external factors like gas accretion and mergers. The complex and always changing interplay between these mechanisms drives the assembly of galaxies and the physical conditions for star formation, which leaves observable imprints on the stellar populations. Large astrometric and spectroscopic surveys (e.g. Gaia, APOGEE, GALAH) collect the signatures of these past events in the building history of the Milky Way. However, simulations and models are necessary to decode the data. In this talk, I will present results from a series of hydrodynamical simulations of Milky Way-like galaxies, both in isolation and in cosmological context using the VINTERGATAN simulation. I will show the crucial role of mergers, and of the end of the merger phase, in forming the thick and thin Galactic discs, and making the transition between the two. I will then nuance this conclusion by explaining why the secular consumption of gas enables a similar transition, as well as the emergence of spirals, without any external factors.
At present, our understanding of the formation history of the MW is limited due to the complexity of observing the imprints of accretion events and of reproducing them in numerical simulations. Moreover, though being the only galaxy, in which the Galactic potential can be probed in detail, the distribution of mass in the MW, and hence of the dark matter, is poorly constraint, especially at large distances. In addition, the MW is not isolated, and it has recently been suggested that the infall of the LMC can induce a perturbation in the stellar and dark matter distribution of the MW. As a consequence, the details of the formation history of our Galaxy are still unknown, such as the number of accretion events, the mass of the accreted galaxies, and the epoch of these events. Yet this information is crucial to understand our environment and to constrain the theoretical models and simulations that try to reproduce it.
One of the major challenges of the field is that a tremendous number of multi-aspect (astrometric, photometric and spectroscopic) observations at significant depth is required to study the morphology, the kinematics and the chemistry of the outskirts of our Galaxy, where are located the signatures of these events. Hopefully, the advent of recent and incoming complementary large surveys, such as the European Gaia mission, UNIONS (Ultraviolet Near Infrared Optical Northern Survey), Pristine, Pan-STARRS (PS), WEAVE or LSST (Legacy Survey of Space and Time), is offering a new global point of view on our Galaxy’s halo, allowing us to precisely probe the Galactic potential our the MW, and to retrace itsaccretion history.
In this talk I will present recent works that have been conducted to better catarerized our Galaxy and its history with some of the existing surveys mentioned above. In addition, I will present the major improvement that will bring this new generation of large, multi-aspect surveys, to study both our Galactic history, as well as the fundamental nature of the dark matter.
Reconstructing the past of the Milky Way depends on the study of its metal-poor stars, which either have been formed in the Galaxy itself in the first billion years, or have been accreted through mergers of satellite galaxies over time. These stars are usually found in what is known as the Milky Way halo, a light — in terms of total mass — stellar component which is usually made of stars whose kinematics significantly deviates from that of the Galactic disc.
In this talk, I will discuss how it has been possible to use the astrometric and spectroscopic data delivered by Gaia and complementary surveys to shed light on the past of our Galaxy, through the study of its halo. Besides the discovery of the possible last significant merger experienced by the Milky Way, the use of 6D phase space information and chemical abundances allowed to reconstruct the impact this merger had on the early Milky Way disc, and the time it occurred, as well as to discover that some of the most metal-poor stars in the Galaxy possibly formed in a disc. This last finding would imply that the dissipative collapse that led to the formation of the old Galactic disc must have been extremely fast.
The emission line spectrum of H II regions provides information about the chemical composition of the present-day interstellar medium. The study as a function of their galactocentric distances helps to constrain chemical evolution models. In this talk, I present a reanalysis of the abundance gradients of C, N, O, Ne, S, Cl, and Ar for a sample of 33 Galactic H II regions covering a range in Galactocentric Distances from 6-17 kpc. New values of the Galactocentric distances were calculated using Gaia DR2 parallaxes for some objects. We study in detail the different ICF schemes to improve the results of the total abundances in Galactic H II regions. We found that the re-evaluation of the distances using Gaia DR2 parallaxes produces an O gradient that discards a flattening of the gradient in the inner part of the Galaxy. The radial distribution of Ne/O, S/O, Cl/O and Ar/O are almost flat confirming a lockstep evolution of those elements respect to O. Our Galaxy also shows an almost flat N/O gradient respect to other nearby spiral galaxies. We compare our results with those from B type stars and cepheids, young planetary nebulae and those slopes using optical and infrared data for H II regions.
The SDSS Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution
Experiment (APOGEE) has
collected high resolution near-IR spectra of several hundred thousand stars
across the Milky Way. I'll describe some observational results about the
spatial variation of chemical abundances as a function of Galactocentric
radius and distance from the midplane, discussing mean abundances,
distribution function, and the variation of abundance ratios of multiple
elements. Additional information related to stellar ages can be obtained
from [C/N] for red giant stars. Several lines of evidence suggest that
migration has had a significant impact on the Galactic disk. The
observed patterns of
abundance ratios may provide observational constraints on
The Milky Way (MW) galaxy is not much different from its faraway cousins. However, our position within the MW allows us to study the properties of its stellar populations with exquisite detail in comparison to extragalactic sources. The bulge of the MW (i.e. the stellar population within ~3 kpc from the Galactic center) is the most massive stellar component of the MW hosting very old stars (>10 Gyr), therefore the study of its stellar population properties can shed light on the formation and evolution of the MW as a whole, and of other spiral galaxies at large.
So far, there is a general consensus on the global kinematic, chemical and structural properties of the bulge populations, however the age, or rather, the distribution of the ages of the stars in the bulge is yet to be completely understood.
We aimed at addressing the questions 'How old is the bulge?' and 'Is there a spatial age gradient in the bulge?' through the determination of the stellar ages in the different fields sparsely distributed within a region of 300 deg² centered on the bulge.
We use images from the VISTA Variables in the Vía Láctea (VVV) survey, based in near infrared passbands, to extract accurate magnitude and color of half a billion stars in the bulge area using point spread function fitting.
The newly derived photometric catalogs, used in addition to probe the extinction towards the bulge, will be made publicly available to the entire community.
The contribution of the intervening disk population along the bulge lines of sight has been detected and removed by using a statistical approach in order to obtain a final stars sample that is representative of the bulge population only.
The determination of the stellar ages in different fields is provided through the comparison between the observations and synthetic stellar population models, which have been carefully tailored to account for the observational effects (i.e. distance dispersion, differential reddening, photometric completeness, photometric and systematic uncertainties).
The simulations leading to the construction of synthetic populations have been carried out by using two different methods: i) a model that uses a spectroscopically derived metallicity distribution functions as prior, leaving the age as the only free parameter; ii) a genetic algorithm that finds the best solution within all possible combinations of age and metallicity (i.e. uniform prior in age and metallicity using IAC-POP/Minniac suite).
We ultimately find that the bulge itself appears to be on average old (>9.5 Gyr) throughout its extension (|l| < 10° and -10° < b < +5°), with a mild gradient of about 0.16 Gyr/deg towards the Galactic center.
In a framework where galaxies form hierarchically, extended stellar haloes are predicted to be an ubiquitous feature around Milky Way-like galaxies and to consist mainly of the shredded stellar component of smaller galactic systems. The type of accreted stellar systems are expected to vary according to the specific accretion and merging history of a given galaxy, and so is the fraction of stars formed in situ versus accreted. Analysis of the chemical properties of Milky Way halo stars out to large Galactocentric radii can provide important insights into the properties of the environment in which the stars that contributed to the build-up of different regions of the Milky Way stellar halo formed. In this talk I will first give an overview of some of the main properties of the Milky Way stellar halo based on literature studies. I will then present results concerning the chemical properties of the outer regions of the Milky Way stellar halo, based on the elemental abundances of halo stars with large present-day Galactocentric distances, >15 kpc. The data-set we acquired consists of high resolution HET/HRS, Magellan/MIKE and VLT/UVES spectra for 28 red giant branch stars covering a wide metallicity range, -3.1 ≲ [Fe/H] ≲-0.6. We show that the ratio of α-elements over Fe as a function of [Fe/H] for our sample of outer halo stars is not dissimilar from the pattern shown by MW halo stars from solar neighborhood samples. On the other hand, significant differences appear at [Fe/H] ≳-1.5 when considering chemical abundance ratios such as [Ba/Fe], [Na/Fe], [Ni/Fe], [Eu/Fe], [Ba/Y]. Qualitatively, this type of chemical abundance trends are observed in massive dwarf galaxies, such as Sagittarius and the Large Magellanic Cloud. This appears to suggest a larger contribution in the outer halo of stars formed in an environment with high initial star formation rate and already polluted by asymptotic giant branch stars with respect to inner halo samples.
In this talk I present an overview of the structure, activity and goals
of the Gaia-ESO survey, a large public spectroscopic survey aimed at investigating
the origin and formation history of our Galaxy by collecting high quality spectroscopy
of representative samples (about 105 Milky Way stars) of all Galactic stellar populations,
in the field and in clusters. Briefly, I discuss the most relevant results obtained so far.
In particular, I present our study on the internal kinematics of Galactic globular clusters based on the radial estimates obtained from the survey complemented with ESO archive data.
- IAU G5 -- The GALAH survey: science goals and highlights to dateSarah MartellTuesday January 25, 2022 - 10:30 GMT (Online)
- Dynamos, the drivers of solar and stellar activityProf. Axel BrandenburgThursday January 27, 2022 - 10:30 GMT (Online)