How the Milky Way Shaped Its Disk

Thu, October 06, 2016

New spectroscopic surveys now allow to measure the detailed abundance and ages of stars throughout the Galactic disk. Having this information star‐by‐star, including ages, allows a qualitatively exploration of the evolution of the Milky Way's stellar body: which processes set the overall radial profile of the disk, which the present-day orbital of any star?  To which extent is the disks' thickness a birth property, as opposed to a consequence of subsequent heating or flaring. How much formation memory does the Milky Way's disk retain? I will aim at providing (current) answers to these questions, and sketch out briefly my view of what is yet to come in the age of Gaia data.