A new era of Galactic Archaeology

Understanding physical processes responsible for the formation and evolution of galaxies like the Milky Way is a fundamental problem in astrophysics. However, a key challenge is that the properties and orbits of the stars can only be observed at present: to understand what happened in the Milky Way at earlier epochs, one must explore “archaeological” techniques. The Galactic archaeology landscape is rapidly changing thanks to on-going large-scale surveys (astrometry, photometry, spectroscopy, asteroseismology) which provide a few orders of magnitude more stars than before. In this talk, I will discuss new "phenomenological" opportunities with these surveys. In particular, I will present quantitative new constraints on the radial migration of stars, ISM enrichment history, vertical heating and stellar cluster mass function of the Milky Way. I will also introduce a new set of machine-learning tools for efficient measuring >20 ab initio elemental abundances from both high and low-resolution R=2000 spectra (The Payne), for discovering spectroscopically unresolved binaries, and for inferring stellar ages and asteroseismic oscillation frequencies directly from low-resolution spectra. I will also present the opportunities in Galactic archaeology in the era of deep photometry, such as LSST and DES.

Yuan-Sen Ting (Princeton University and Carnegie Observatories)
KIAA-PKU Auditorium
Monday, November 19, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm