University of Heidelberg
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Galactic Archaeology group

The Galactic Archaeology group


The Galactic Archaeology Group at Landessternwarte Heidelberg is concerned with the search for the most metal-poor and hence oldest stars of the Galaxy, and the determination of their chemical abundance patterns.
These stars are important tools for studying, e.g., the formation and chemical evolution of the Galaxy, the properties (e.g., mass, rotation) of the first generation of massive stars which exploded as type II supernovae and nucleosynthesis processes that occurred in them. For a review of the field see Beers & Christlieb (2005, ARA&A 43, 531)

We are involved in the following survey projects:

  • The Hamburg/ESO objective-prism survey (HES) The search for metal-poor stars in the HES is lead by Norbert Christlieb. The current record holders for the most heavy-element deficient stars known, HE 1327-2326 and HE 0107-5240 were both found in the HES. This project is now completed.
  • A spectroscopic wide-angle survey for metal-poor stars in the northern hemisphere using the Chinese 4m LAMOST survey telescope. P.I.'s are Gang Zhao and Norbert Christlieb.
  • A metal-poor star survey to be conducted with the 4MOST multi-object spectrograph at the VISTA telescope.
High-resolution spectroscopy of confirmed metal-poor stars is obtained with VLT (UVES), Keck I (HIRES), Subaru (HDS), Magellan (MIKE). We use MARCS model atmospheres calculated in Uppsala and 3D hydrodynmical model atmospheres calculated by us for the determination of the abundance patterns of the stars. We compare these patterns with nucleosynthesis calculations done in our group and in collaboration with colleagues in Mainz and elsewhere.

Members of the group

Chiara Battistini
Image of Norbert Christlieb
Iva Karovicova
Chiara Battistini
Norbert "Animal" Christlieb
Iva Karovicova
Postdoc (SFB 881)
Drum battle combatant Postdoc
Preparation of the 4MOST metal-poor star survey STAAARS!!! HAHAHAAA!! Interferometric observations of benchmark stars

Image of Hans Ludwig Image of Barbara Wright
Hans Ludwig Barbara Wright Theodora Xylakis-Dornbusch
Senior postdoc Admininstrative Assistant PhD student (SFB 881)
Stellar atmospheres Metal-poor stars


Please see ADS.