Thesis Topic: Near-IR view of the Milky Way bulge
Thesis Supervisors: Marina Rejkuba
Over the past couple of decades the studies of resolved stellar populations have reached the maturity and became an established tool for the studies of star formation histories in nearby galaxies. They are used to determine the key physical parameters of galaxies, like age and the star formation history, the chemical composition and chemical enrichment history, the stellar initial mass function and the dynamical history of the system. The presence and frequency of different variable star populations within a galaxy provide additional clues and constraints to these parameters.
This thesis project will use the multi-epoch near-IR observations of the Galactic bulge and the inner regions of the Milky Way coming from the public survey project VVV (Vista Variables in the Via Lactea) which is one of the six approved Public Surveys with the new VISTA survey telescope at Cerro Paranal in Chile. The student will be involved since the early stages of the project which aims to find variable stars, in particular RR Lyr, to characterize their properties, and use them together with the deep near-IR photometry to gain better understanding of the formation and evolution of the inner parts of our Galaxy.