Galactic Archaeology and the GALAH survey

Galactic Archaeology and the GALAH survey

Event Name Galactic Archaeology and the GALAH survey
Start Date 6 Nov 2018 1:00 pm
End Date 6 Nov 2018 2:00 pm
Duration 1 hour

Title: Galactic Archaeology and the GALAH survey

Gayandhi De Silva, AAO-MQ

The formation and evolution of galaxies is one of the major areas of research in astronomy today. Within the broad context of hierarchical structure formation, we are still lacking the detailed physical information of how galaxies like our own came into existence. The GALAH (GALactic Archaeology with HERMES) survey is a large Australian-led project that is using the state-of-the-art HERMES spectrograph at the Anglo-Australian Telescope to measure the chemical compositions and radial velocities of 1 million stars in the Milky Way.

Combined with astrometric data from the European Space Agency’s GAIA mission, our main science goal is to identify chemically similar groups of stars in the Galactic disk, which are most likely long-disrupted star clusters, to decipher the star formation, chemical enrichment, stellar migration and merger history of the Milky Way. In this presentation we will give an overview of the developments in Galactic Archaeology and science results with GALAH data and survey progress to date

De Silva received her PhD from the Australian National University in 2006. Post-PhD, De Silva received an ESO Fellowship, during which she was based both at Paranal Observatory as a Support Astronomer and in Garching with the User Support Department. She returned to Australia as a Research astronomer at the AAO taking up the position of HERMES project scientist. De Silva’s leadership as project scientist and commissioning astronomer saw HERMES successfully commissioned, providing the AAT with a now highly oversubscribed instrument. She continued on a joint position at AAO and University of Sydney part time, before recently joining the AAO-MQ group.

De Silva studies the formation and evolution history of the Milky Way using the stellar constituents to explore chemo-dynamical evolution. De Silva's expertise is in high-resolution spectroscopy and her early lead publications were the genesis of the now expanding field of Galactic Archaeology.  De Silva’s active engagement with the local and international community brought together a survey team dubbed GALAH to bring about an ambitious world’s first stellar survey in both scale and scope; 30 elemental abundances for over a million stars.

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