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Australian Human Resources Institute Diversity Awards 2013 Finalist

Andrew Casey (ANU)

"Tools and Results in the New Era of High-Resolution Stellar Spectroscopy (Joint AAO/Macquarie University Colloquium)"

Abstract. Large scale high-resolution stellar spectroscopy is crucial for the advancement of stellar astrophysics, galactic archaeology and near-field cosmology. This motivation has prompted wide-scale surveys aimed at homogeneously deriving stellar parameters and chemical abundances. These types of analyses have historically been considered something of a "dark art" because of the subjectivity between authors and the requisite intuition, amassed from a wealth of experience. To accomplish these analyses on large samples like the GALAH or Gaia-ESO surveys in a homogeneous way requires automation, but such automation should not come at the expense of all contact with the data. There is a stepping stone required between classical techniques and full automation; it's critical to "see what is happening" during the analysis. In this talk I will present a fully interactive and graphical tool to analyse high-resolution stellar spectroscopic data in a classical, rigorous, transparent, yet largely automated manner. This software speeds greatly up the analysis, allowing for more time to be spent interpreting the underlying astrophysics. It's so easy to use that even high school students can understand, produce (and publish) defensible results from high-resolution spectra. In addition to giving a live demonstration of this software, I will discuss science results from ongoing programs that are already making efficient use of this software, including: my own high-resolution analyses on the Aquarius and Orphan streams, the SkyMapper extremely metal-poor follow-up program, chemical signatures of stars hosting exoplanets, as well as multiple surveys looking for the "First Stars" in the Milky Way bulge.

Held in the AAO Meeting Room (Room 7, 1st Floor, Building 2) at 11:00 AM on Thursday, 14 March 2013