Theodora Xylakis-Dornbusch (Greece)
txylaki @ lsw.uni-heidelberg.de
Finding and characterizing the oldest stars in the Galaxy
According to the Standard Big Bang (SBB) theory, the elements that formed during the Nucleosynthesis Epoch of the Big Bang (BB) timeline were hydrogen and helium isotopes, as well as some lithium (7Li). That is the reason why astronomers consider stars that have low metal abundances in their atmospheres (metal–poor stars) to be old, something that has also been corroborated by observations (e.g. damped Lyman–α systems). Thus, the study of metal–poor stars –which are rare objects– corresponds to the study of objects at high redshift. That makes them very interesting, since they can provide clues to further our understanding of several topics, such as: the nature of the BB and the first stars, the IMF of the first stars and the astrophysical site(s) of neutron–capture element production. In this project we aim at finding and characterizing metal–poor stars using wide field surveys such as Gaia.
Supervisors: Karin Lind (MPIA), Norbert Christlieb (LSW)