Sapere Aude grant for IFA astronomer: Galactic archaeology

Assistant professor Victor Silva Aguirre has been awarded the prestigious Sapere Aude grant of Dkr. 5,9 million for pursuing Galactic Archeology in the project " Asteroseismology for Galactic archaeology: rediscovering the Milky Way"

2017.11.20 | Ole J. Knudsen

A fundamental problem in astronomy is our lack of understanding about the formation and evolution of the Milky Way. Our assumptions on the chain of events featured in its history are contained in models of galactic evolution, simplified descriptions of what we think were the key ingredients at play in defining its structure. Galactic Archaeology aims at reconstructing this history by comparing predictions of these models with observed properties stars, but significant progress is currently stalled by the difficulty in determining reliable stellar properties using standard observations. This project will break this impasse by determining accurate properties of thousands of stars in unexplored regions of the Milky Way using a novel technique called asteroseismology. This new and unique benchmark set of stellar properties will allow us to unveil the physical processes that shaped our Galaxy into what it is today.

Victor Aguirre gives a litte personal background: "The journey of science has taken me to Denmark from Chile via a PhD in Germany and research stays in Portugal and USA. And now, as a scientist at one of the top universities in the world, I face the daily challenge of making sure that my family understands one of the four languages I end up answering to them in our wonderful daily chaos and madness that is the home to our two small children."

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