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Astrophysics Research Projects

The Local Universe

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Stellar Populations in Galaxies (P/309403)


Alfred Rosenberg González, Matteo Simioni, Margherita Bettinelli, Efsan Sökmen

 IAC Collaborators: Carme Gallart Gallart, Matteo Monelli, Ricardo Carrera Jiménez, Martín López Corredoira, Francisco Garzón López

Sebastian Hidalgo (Observatorio de Abruzzo); Elena Valenti (ESO, Garching, Alemania); Francisco Surot Madrid (ESO, Garching, Alemania); J. Alonso (PUC, Chile); D. Minniti (PUC, Chile); M. Zoccali (PUC, Chile); N. Arimoto (NAOJ, Japón); S. Beaulieu (Univ. Waterloo, Canadá); R. Buonanno (Univ. Roma Tor Vergata, Italia); S. Cassisi (INAF-Téramo, Italia); A. Pietrinferni (INAF-Téramo, Italia); L. Carigi (IA-UNAM, México); J.M. Carrasco (UB, España); C. Jordi (UB, España); F. Figueras (UB, España); K. Freeman (Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics, Australia); E. Kirby (Univ. California at Irvine, EEUU); T. Mineikis (Univ. California at Irvine, EEUU); D. Narbutis (Vilnius Astronomical Obs. Lituania); A. Monachesi (Univ. Michigan, EEUU); S. Okamoto (KIAA-PKU, China); A. Piatti (Obs. Astronómico de Córdoba, Argentina); G. Piotto (Univ. Padua, Italia); M. Robberto (StSCI, EEUU); G.M. Strampelli (StSCI, EEUU); A. del Pino (StSCI, EEUU); E. Skillman (Univ. Minnesotta, EEUU)


The general aim of the project is to research the structure, evolutionary history and formation of galaxies through the study of their resolved stellar populations, both from photometry and spectroscopy. The group research concentrates in the most nearby objects, namely the Local Group galaxies including the Milky Way and M33 under the hypothesis that they are a good representation of the general population of galaxies in the Universe.

The project can be divided in four research lines:

I. Star formation history in the Local Group.

The goal is to characterise the spatial and temporal structure of the galaxies of the Local Group through the observations of individual stars. The fundamental aim is to derive the detailed star formation history (SFH) of a given galaxy in all its evolutionary stages, in order to determine the impact of cosmological (e.g. reionization, self-shielding) and local processes (e.g. gas sweeping by supernovas, tidal forces, stellar migration).

II. Multiple stellar populations in globular clusters.

At odds of what it is classically predicted, there is evidence that globular clusters (GC) host more than one stellar population with different chemical composition. HST photometric observations of GC show strong evidence of multiple main sequences in the CMDs. The aim of this line is to characterise the aforementioned multiple populations in GC.

III. Structure and formation of the Milky Way.

The main purpose of this research line is to study the Milky Way via by using GAIA data (spacebased), and the ESO-VVV survey (Vista Telescope). These data are going to provide a perfect opportunity to study the star formation history of the Galactic disk and bulge. In order to use GAIA and VVV data we need to adapt the tools developed by our group to study stellar populations.

IV. Stellar evolution and synthetic color-magnitude diagram.

 We have developed a new stellar evolutionary library. There is the need in the scientific community to increase the reliability and accuracy in the stellar models computation using the most updated results in Physics, such as the equation of state, new opacities, and nuclear sections.


- Publication of a paper in the MNRAS about the photometric catalogue of the ACS/WFC data obtained in the project “UV Legacy Survey of Galactic Globular Clusters” (M. SImioni & A. Aparicio).

- Publication of a paper about the SFH of the Sextans galaxy in the MNRAS. The paper shows that this galaxy has hold a single star formation process, short and old (M. Bettinelli, S. Hidalgo, A. Aparicio).

- Participation in the meeting "Piercing the Galactic Darkness”, hold in Heidelberg in October, 2017. A poster about the VVV survey photometry was presented. The first photometric catalogue of four regions of the disk, close to the bulge, using VVV data has been obtained (E. Sökmen, S. Hidalgo, A. Aparicio).

- Invited talk to the congress "Ages^2: taking stellar ages to the next power”, hold in Italy in September, 2017. (S. Hidalgo).

- Obtention of the SFHs of three ultra faint galaxies: Bootes I, Canes Venatici II and Leo IV (S. Murabito & S. Hidalgo).

- Publication of a paper in A&A about the mass-metallicity relation (S. Hidalgo).

- Participation in the Azure Bootcamp international distributed computation event as invited researcher for the execution of the SELIGA (Secret Live of Galaxies) code at a wide-world level (S. Hidalgo).


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