Galactic Archaeology and Precision Stellar Astrophysics
Coordinators: Jo Bovy, Charlie Conroy, Juna Kollmeier, Marc Pinsonneault
Scientific Advisors: Andy Gould, Shri Kulkarni, Chris Sneden
This program assembles a diverse group of astrophysicists working at the interfaces of stellar astrophysics, star formation, near-field cosmology and stellar populations. The goal of the program is to identify the key opportunities both in fundamental stellar astrophysics — i.e. the structure and evolution of individual stars from the main sequence to star death — as well as stellar populations — i.e. age-dating stars and galaxies, chemical tagging, stellar population synthesis — that will be enabled through the current and upcoming generation of precision experiments. Emerging observational and theoretical capabilities provide not only unprecedented precision and uniformity in quantities that were unthinkable two decades ago, but also fundamentally new observables that may permit novel tests of theory. We will explore how data from modern ground and space-based facilities promise to reveal insights not only about the detailed assembly history of the Milky Way, but also reveal fundamental processes occurring within stars and galaxies out to the edge of the observable universe. This revolution will allow us to better understand fundamental aspects of stars and galaxies in the local universe and, thereby allow us to probe and characterize the most distant sources.