9. June 2020
Zdenek Prudil finished his doctorate
© Andrey Apoev - Adobe Stock

Congrat­u­la­tions to our doctoral student Zdenek Prudil who just finished his doctorate!

Zdenek Prudil did his research under super­vi­sion of Hector Fellow Eva Grebel and worked on galac­tic archae­ol­ogy with variable stars as tracers.

Galac­tic archae­ol­ogy uses stars as fossils to under­stand galaxy evolu­tion. Cosmo­log­i­cal simula­tions suggest that galax­ies are formed by swallow­ing of dwarf galax­ies. In the project remnants of mergers are being examined, which provide evidence of the struc­ture of the Milky Way.

Prudil’s project aimed at galac­tic archae­ol­ogy using variable stars as tracers. These stars show a strictly periodic change of luminos­ity and are uniquely suited as tracers of distances, ages, and chemi­cal compo­si­tions. In recent years, numer­ous sky surveys were carried out that identi­fied and monitored large numbers of these variable stars.

Large photo­met­ric surveys, e.g., OGLE or Gaia, were exploited to search for remnants of past mergers that contributed to the build-up of the Milky Way and to explore their proper­ties, and to charac­ter­ize native Galac­tic stellar popula­tions. The Gaia satel­lite, for the first time, provided a six-dimen­sional map of our galaxy with proper motions and radial veloc­i­ties for millions of stars.

In combi­na­tion with the ground-based time-domain surveys, these data allowed to study the assem­bly history of our galaxy in detail and also to explore surviv­ing galac­tic build­ing blocks, i.e., neigh­bor­ing dwarf galax­ies like the Large and Small Magel­lanic Clouds.

More detailed infor­ma­tion about his research can be found here. You can read the theses here (PDF, 30 MB)