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2018 Spring Science Colloquia

Better Stellar Ages Through Chemistry

Presented by: Jennifer Johnson (Ohio State University)
Category: Science Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour   Broadcast date: February 07, 2018
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Reliable stellar ages hold the key to numerous questions of galaxy and stellar system formation. However, they have been frustratingly hard to measure for field stars. While Gaia will improve the situation markedly for nearby turnoff stars, determination of ages for giants will not benefit to the same degree. In this talk, I will discuss the calibration of chemical ages, based on [C/N], which tags the mass of the star, and [alpha/Fe], which tags the time since star formation began. I will use these ages to discuss outstanding problems in the Galaxy, including the amount of radial mixing through the disk, the prevalence of stellar mergers, and the inside-out formation of the Galaxy.