The Milky Way Bulge

Dr. Manuela Zoccali

Abstract

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.

About the talk

The Milky Way Bulge
Dr. Manuela Zoccali
Universidad Católica de Chile
Thursday January 9, 2014 - 10:30  (Aula)
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