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Galactic Archaeology with Dr Gayandhi De Silva, AAO

Friday 17th June 2016 - 8:00pm
Topic:  How Australian astronomers are leading the way in Galactic Archeology
Speaker:  Dr Gayandhi De Silva, AAO
Venue: Epping Creative Centre - 26 Stanley Road, Epping
Abstract: Galactic Archaeology aims to reconstruct the fossil stellar substructures of the Milky Way disk. We seek to understand the events that took place in Galactic history by "digging" for fossil remnants in the form of chemical information within stars. The Australian-led GALAH survey, uses the $13M HERMES instrument at the Anglo-Australian Observatory, to carry out a million-star census of the Milky Way in order perform this Galactic excavation. This multi-year observational program to obtain detailed elemental abundances and precise motions of stars will allow "chemical tagging" of the individual stars to their original formation event. The resulting catalog will yield a comprehensive view of the formation and evolution of our home Galaxy and other galaxies like it.
Biography: I am a research astronomer at the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO), based in Sydney, Australia. My general field of research is on the formation of the Milky Way, in particular its chemical evolution. My research is primarily focused on the study of elemental abundances in open star clusters, as open clusters are ideal tracers of the formation history of the Galactic disk. Most of my time is spent analyzing high resolution stellar spectra, to obtain the chemical properties of those stars. I am also on the hunt for fossil stellar substructures such as moving group and supercluster, which are forms of star clusters now dispersed across the Galaxy.

Event Date: 
Friday, 17 June, 2016 - 20:00
Epping Creative Centre, 26 Stanley Road, Epping NSW

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