The Milky Way and the Local Group

This line of research focuses on the study of Local Group galaxies, including the Milky Way, through resolved stars and nebulae. This field is at the center of important breakthroughs thanks to projects such as the Gaia mission, large followup spectroscopic surveys (e.g. WEAVE, SDSS, 4MOST, IACOB, DESI) and other players such as TESS, PLATO and LSST.

Specific goals 2020 - 2023:

  • To study the morphology, structure, chemistry, kinematics, dynamics and assembly history of the different Milky Way components using cutting-edge datasets and interpret these properties through modelling and cosmological hydrodynamical simulations.
  • To derive time resolved star formation histories of the different components (thin and thick disk, bulge and halo) of the Milky Way, the Magellanic Clouds and other Local Group galaxies using Gaia, ground based wide field imaging and HST data, and study the stellar populations of the central Galaxy using EMIR and MIRADAS.
  • To study the internal kinematics and chemistry of dwarf galaxies, and determine their dark matter halo properties, by exploiting Gaia and forthcoming spectroscopic surveys data.
  • To study the multiple stellar populations phenomenon in globular clusters using colour magnitude diagrams for objects in the Milky Way and its satellites, and high resolution integrated spectroscopy in distant galaxies.
  • To use Local Group galaxies as a stepping stone to study the distant and early Universe up to the epoch of reionization.
  • To pave the road for the study of resolved stellar populations beyond the Local Group with ELT/HARMONI.
  • To develop semi-empirical spectral libraries, stellar evolution model libraries and population synthesis tools, and validate methodologies using local stars, HII regions, planetary nebulae and nearby stellar systems.

Research Lines Scientific Representative of the Severo Ochoa Programme at the IAC
Research Lines Scientific Representative of the Severo Ochoa Programme at the IAC

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