Letters of Intent received in 2022

LoI 2024-2160
From clusters to field: building up the Galactic stellar populations

Date: 6 August 2024 to 7 August 2024
Category: Focus meetings (GA)
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
Contact: Laura Magrini (laura.magrini@inaf.it)
Coordinating division: Division G Stars and Stellar Physics
Other divisions: Division H Interstellar Matter and Local Universe
Co-Chairs of SOC: Laura Magrini (INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri)
Germano Sacco (INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri)
Lorenzo Spina (Universita di Padova)
Chair of LOC: Laura Magrini (INAF-Osservatorio Astrofisico di Arcetri)



1-Cluster formation: star formation models, spatial and temporal variation of the rate of clusters formation
2-Cluster demographics: the Gaia mission, new identification techniques based on artificial intelligence, description of new samples, complete characterisation of existing ones
3-Cluster disruption and Stellar migration: cluster disruption models, role of stellar migration in the redistribution of populations, chemical and kinematic evidence of radial and vertical displacement, differences between field stars and clusters
4-Building up the halo: chemical tagging in the halo, remnants of mergers, tails and remnants of globular clusters:
5-Chemical tagging: chemical tagging in the Galactic disc, strong and weak tagging
6-Clusters and field stars in the Local Group: similar but not identical histories, the formation of the halo of M31, chemical tagging in extragalactic populations
7- Clustered star formation across the cosmic time: cosmic evolution of the star formation history, with a focus on the mode of star formation in different epochs
8-Future challenges for the next generation instruments/surveys: what the future holds, with the next generation of instruments and surveys for very high spatial and/or spectral resolution studies in the characterisation of the Galactic field and cluster populations, WEAVE@WHT, 4MOST@VISTA, MOONS@VLT, MAVIS@VLT, ANDES@ELT, MOSAIC@,ELT HRMOS@VLT, etc…



Data from the Gaia mission and from large spectroscopic surveys are providing us with a vast amount of information on the Galactic stellar populations. This will lead to the most profound analysis ever done for a single galaxy, with general consequences for theories of formation and evolution of galaxies. However, the challenge that lies before us is to exploit these datasets at their maximum potential.

We propose to hold a 2-day Focus Meeting at the GA to discuss the connection between star clusters and field populations in the Local Group. Stars generally form in groups or clusters, but we mainly observe isolated stars, the so-called field stars. Understanding this passage is fundamental to figuring out how our Galaxy was formed and how it evolves with time. In fact, the chemo-dynamical characteristics of the field stars, which hold crucial information about their birthplace, are a fundamental tool to reconstruct past star formation and merger events. Also, surviving clusters give us key information on the rate of survival and destruction, the chemical homogeneity of each star formation event, and the nature of star formation [at different locations within the Galaxy]. This meeting will focus on the coordination across the different fields to emphasise the major achievements obtained from the latest-generation instruments and surveys (JWST, DESI, Gaia, Gaia-ESO, SDSS, GALAH and LAMOST, etc..). We will also outline the most important challenges for future observations and models.

This proposal meets the IAU's requirements and the definitions of “Focus Meetings”, because it is cross-disciplinary in nature, while still maintaining a well-defined focus on the study of resolved stellar populations. It is extremely timely, because it is set at a crucial moment for galactic archaeology, thanks to recent and forthcoming Gaia releases, the upcoming results from the JWST, and the ongoing and new spectroscopic surveys.
This will be an ideal forum for discussing the field in the future instrumental landscape, in view of the new generation instruments and theoretical models.
It will be a unique opportunity for astronomers from close but non-coincidental areas, coming from both theoretical and observational perspectives. It will be a forum for enrichment and discussion for the entire astronomical community.

SOC Members (Proposed, to be confirmed)
L. Armillotta (USA)
K. Lind (Sweden)
N. Wright (UK)
A. Recio-Blanco (Spain)
A. Moitinho (Portugal)
S. Sharma (Australia)
R. Smjlianic (Poland)
A. Reddy (India)
E. Tolstoy (The Netherlands)
K. Cunha (Brasil)

Coord. division: G (Approval received from the President of division G)