Most of my research is done with APOGEE, the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment. APOGEE is a high-resolution near-Infrared spectroscopic survey of stars in and around the Milky Way, allowing it to measure radial velocities, stellar parameters and chemical abundances for many elemental species in these stars.
Image credit: D. Whelan/G. Zasowski
One Galaxy, Lots of Data
I use surveys like APOGEE to gain a better understanding of our Galaxy and its past. Because modern surveys measure many properties for hundreds of thousands to millions of stars, much of my work revolves around handling these large data sets and how to best visualize their high dimensionality.
Image credit: Abolfathi et al. 2018
The Milky Way's Accreted Halo in APOGEE
One of the ways I have used APOGEE is to study the metal-poor stars that it observed. This revealed that metal-poor stars in our Galaxy are divided into two chemically and kinematically distinct populations. One of these populations appears to be related to the thick disk, whereas the other appears to be a considerable population of accreted halo stars. See also the recent dynamics study of these stars from Mackereth et al. 2018.
Image credit: Hayes et al. 2018a
Disk-like Chemistry of TriAnd
Triangulum-Andromeda (TriAnd) is a stellar overdensity seen toward the outer disk of the Milky Way about 20 kpc away from the sun. Recently using the chemical abundances of TriAnd stars observed by APOGEE we have shown that TriAnd appears to be an extension of the Milky Way disk that has been perturbed to significantly below the disk midplane.
Image credit: Modified from Hayes et al. 2018b
The Next Cool Thing Here!
Come back soon for the next cool thing that I've be working on!