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Special Presentations

Old stellar populations as a tool to understand our Galaxy's formation and evolution

Presented by: Annalisa Calamida (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Category: Special Interest   Duration: 1 hour   Broadcast date: February 28, 2019
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Old stellar populations are a fundamental tool for understanding the assembly and formation process of our Galaxy as well as of more distant similar galaxies. Different evolutionary phases such as the main sequence, the red-giant branch, and the white dwarf cooling sequence can be used to probe the properties of the oldest stellar populations in the Galaxy, and to reconstruct the formation phases of the different Galactic components, such as the bulge, the disk and the globular cluster system. In this talk I will present results on the characterization of the Galactic bulge and the globular cluster Omega Centauri stellar populations based on the study of different evolutionary phases. This work was enabled by combining photometric and spectroscopic data collected with HST and ground-based telescopes. I will also show how white dwarfs can be used as spectrophotometric standards to calibrate data from current and future facilities to sub-percent accuracy. Finally, I will describe how these future facilities will greatly enhance the study of Galactic stellar populations and help us enlighten some of the current unresolved issues.