Zdenek Prudil (Czech Republic)
prudilz @ ari.uni-heidelberg.de
RR Lyrae stars as tracers of substructure and Galactic archaeology
The proposed thesis is focused on exploring the structure and formation of our Galaxy. We will use data from recent and ongoing sky surveys (OGLE, CSS, and Pan-STARRS), that contain a large amount of pulsating variables, especially the RR Lyrae stars. These stars are excellent tracers of old stellar populations in our Galaxy and its close neighbors. We will use the RR Lyrae stars to determine their distances, Oosterhoff properties, and chemical composition. This will be augmented by kinematic information from the Gaia space mission, which will, for the first time, provide the three-dimensional motions of these stars. With this comprehensive information, we will explore the physical parameters of previously discovered tidal streams and remnants of small galaxies accreted onto our Milky Way and identify and characterize new substructure. In the end, we will obtain six-dimensional maps of the distribution, structure, and motions of old populations in our Galaxy and decipher its assembly history.
Supervisor: Eva Grebel (ARI)