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05/01/14 Matthias Steinmetz SO/NOAO Joint Colloquium Series


Matthias Steinmetz,
Leibniz-Institut fuer Astrophysik Potsdam

Large Spectroscopic Surveys and the Chemo-Dynamical Evolution of the Milky Way

Large spectroscopic surveys of the Galaxy’s stellar content allow us to simultaneously decipher the dynamical and chemical formation and evolution history of the Milky Way and to compare survey data with the predictions of gas-dynamical simulations of structure formation. The Radial Velocity Experiment (RAVE) is such a wide field spectroscopic survey that over the past decade has measured radial velocities and stellar atmosphere parameters (temperature, surface gravity) and abundances of nearly half a million stars. I will present the survey, some science applications of RAVE including the identification of substructure in the Milky Way and to derive constraints on the gravitational potential of our Galaxy. I will address the question how to best compare the outcome of simulations with large observational data bases. An outlook to future capabilities based on the combination of astrometric data delivered by the Gaia satellite plus spectroscopic survey campaigns with the 4m Multi-Object Spectroscopic Survey Telescope 4MOST are presented.

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