Found 43 talks archived in The Galaxy
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.
Gaia - the ESA cornerstone astrometric mission - was launched in December 2013, with the goal of censing the Milky Way population in a 6D space (positions and velocity) of 10^9 point-like obects, with errors
100-1000 times smaller than Hipparcos, with three color magnitudes and spectra as well. The scientific impact of its data will be large in many fields of astrophysics, from Galactic science, to Solar system objects, to stellar astrophysics, to galaxies and Quasars; from the distance ladder revision to fundamental physics. I will describe the mission concept, the scientific goals, and the present status of the mission, with special attention to the flux calibration of Gaia data.
The structure, kinematics and stellar population of the Galactic bulge is very complex. Only three years ago the bulge was discovered to be X-shaped, a structure believed to originate from the dynamical instabilities of a disk, through the formation and posterior heating of a bar. The study of its kinematics reveals a cylindrical rotation, typical of a bar, suggesting the absence of a spheroidal component. Nevertheless, the bulge stellar population is old, has a radial metallicity gradient, and element ratio indicative of a short formation timescale. All these elements conflict with a simplistic view of the bulge as a heated bar, formed via "secular" evolution of a disk. I will review our knowledge of the bulge properties as traced by the 3D structure, kinematics, and chemical composition of its red clump stars.
3- Other spectroscopic surveys and analysis strategies
- eBOSS, BigBOSS, HETDEX, WEAVE, 4MOST
- data mashup: astrometry, photometry and spectroscopy together
- reconstructing the Galaxy
- 'observing' galaxy simulations
- discovery and follow-up of interesting/exotic targets: HVS, UMPS, CEMPS, RCrBs...
5- Some current problems and opportunities
- simulating kinematics
- simulating variables
- simulating non-solar scaled populations
- simulating rare and extreme populations (e.g. X-ray sources, PNe,
hot-WDs, AGB-manque', C stars, IR-emission by mass-losing stars)
- opportunities opened by asteroseismology
5- The Galactic halo
- mass, extent, shape
- substructure, inner/outer halo
5- The Galactic bulge
- observational status on bulge kinematics and chemical properties in the context of other bulges
- ideas about the formation of the bulge