Image credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA/ESA)
Stars & Stellar Populations
The stellar populations research group at the University of Florida is involved in a range of research projects focused on the study of resolved stars in Local Group galaxies and beyond. Our aim is to characterize the properties of these stars such as distance, age, and composition in order to understand the process of galaxy formation and evolution along with the concurrent process of chemical enrichment.
It is becoming increasingly clear that structure formation in the early universe proceeded in a hierarchical manner in a way similar to that described by cold dark matter models with a cosmological constant. Smaller lower mass structures, such as the dwarf spheroidal galaxies in the Local Group, collided and accreted to form more massive systems such as the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies. Studies of the ages, compositions, and kinematics of resolved stellar populations (so called 'near-field cosmology') promise to reveal the details of this hierarchical process of structure formation in the early Universe and its subsequent evolution.
Galactic Halos, Resolved Stars, Globular Clusters, Galactic Disks, Dwarf Galaxies, Open Clusters, Populous Clusters, Variable Stars.