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Stellar twins and Galactic phylogenetics

Dr. Paula Jofre
University of Cambridge

June 1st, 2017


Galactic archaeology is the study of the structure, formation and evolution of our galaxy, the Milky Way. Today, this is mainly done via combining the ages and the dynamical and chemical properties of various stellar populations. Thanks to on-going and future stellar surveys completing Gaia, data of millions of stars is becoming available. How to exploit this multidimensional data efficiently, which effectively will give the new insights on how to constrain models of Galactic formation and evolution, is becoming one of the major modern challenges of the field.


Phylogenetics, a concept being widely-used in biology, is the reconstruction of evolutionary history by building trees that represent branching patterns and sequences. These trees represent shared history, and it is our contention that this approach can be employed in the analysis of Galactic history, where the shared environment in which stars form provide the basis for tree-building as a methodological tool.  In this talk I will discuss how evolutionary trees can be built with twin stars and how this gains new insights into the structure and evolution of the Milky Way.