The Evolution of the MW and its Clusters Reconstructing the Galaxy The Morphology Properties of the Dust Individual Components

The different components of our Galaxy are studied at the Observatory of Padova, aiming at a comprehensive description of the MW, and at understanding its formation and evolution.

One approach relies on the investigation of the chemical properties of the halo and of the disk components, complemented by the detailed study of Galactic Globular Clusters. This research includes basic investigations, e.g. deriving accurate ages and metallicities for stars and clusters, and understanding the role internal mixing processes by studying the abundance anomalies, as well as the interpretation of the chemical trajectories followed by stars in the thick and thin disk. In addition, the internal evolution of Globular Clusters is investigated with detailed studies of their multiple sequences, when present. A complementary approach for understanding the evolution of the Milky Way exploits the populations synthesis method to derive the properties of the stellar populations inhabiting the Milky Way from observed CMDs and kinematic data. The stars distribution on the CMD carries the signature of the Star Formation History; their position and kinematics trace the dynamical evolution. This information is combined in a simulator, used as a tool to recover the structure and evolution of the Milky Way.

Some researchers at the OAPd have a significant involvement in the GAIA project, that will provide the phase space distribution and metallicity of more than one billion stars. The contribution is mainly focused on the problem of deriving the fundamental stellar parameters from the GAIA data.

Simulations of stellar counts in any position of the sky can be obtained interactively with the TRILEGAL tool at OAPd. The simulator, which includes a wide variety of photometric systems, can be used both to interpret existing data sets, and to design future surveys. In fact, it is being applied to the data from the SDSS-III Survey, in which a OAPd researcher is involved.

The OAPd is involved in the RAVE survey, that secured spectra of bright high galactic latitude stars in the same wavelength region studied with GAIA. The main objective of the survey is to derive radial velocities and chemical abundances. Researchers at the Observatory are responsible for the data extraction and calibration, and for the validation of the derived atmospheric parameters via the acquisition and analysis of NTT and AAT data.

A sample of Red Clump Stars from the Hipparcos Catalogue is the target of the ARCS spectroscopic survey, conducted at the Asiago telescope. Coupling the astrometric, kinematic and photometric information will provide important clues for studies of the galactic structure and dynamics. This, and other researches benefit from the development of a library of synthetic stellar spectra covering the wavelength range from 2500 to 10500 A and with various values of the spectral resolution. This library constitutes the reference data base for the automated analysis of spectral surveys.

Individual components of our Galaxy are investigated with specific projects concerning the stellar population in the Bulge to determine its age and metallicity distribution, the search for extremely metal poor stars in the Halo, and the spectrophotometric study of stars members of young clusters. Additional researches include the reconstruction of the global morphology of the MW from stellar counts, and the study of the extinction law along anomalous sightlines to derive insights on the properties of the dust in the galaxy.

Past studies