The early chemical evolution of the Galaxy and the Universe is vital to our understanding of a host of astrophysical phenomena. Since the oldest Galactic stars are relics from the high-redshift Universe, they probe the chemical and dynamical conditions of a time when large galaxies first began to assemble. Through analysis of their surface composition, they probe the chemical and dynamical conditions as the Milky Way began to form, the origin and evolution of the elements, and the physics of nucleosynthesis. Some of these stars display a strong overabundance of the heaviest elements, in particular uranium and thorium. They can thus be radioactively dated, giving formation times ~ 13 Gyr ago, similar to the ~ 13.7 Gyr age of the Universe. In addition to talking about the science results, I will show a few video clips about observing with the 6.5m optical Magellan telescopes in the Atacama Desert in Chile.
No enrollment limit, no advance sign up.
A complete listing of MKI’s IAP offerings for 2015, is available here.