Zdenek Prudil joined the Hector Fellow Academy for his innovative and self-developed research proposal. He joined the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut (ARI) on April 1, 2017, and will spend three years in Heidelberg working on RR Lyrae stars as tracers of substructure and Galactic archaeology under supervision of Hector Fellow Prof. Dr. Eva Grebel.
His work focusses on exploring the structure and formation of our Galaxy. He will use data from recent and ongoing sky surveys (OGLE, CSS, and Pan-STARRS), that contain a large amount of pulsating variables, especially the RR Lyrae stars. These stars are excellent tracers of old stellar populations in our Galaxy and its close neighbors. He will use such stars to determine their distances, Oosterhoff properties, and chemical composition. This will be augmented by kinematic information from the Gaia space mission, which will, for the first time, provide the three-dimensional motions of these stars. With this comprehensive information, Zedenek Prudli will explore the physical parameters of previously discovered tidal streams and remnants of small galaxies accreted onto our Milky Way and identify and characterize new substructure. In the end, he wants to obtain six-dimensional maps of the distribution, structure, and motions of old populations in our Galaxy and decipher its assembly history.
The Hector Fellow Academy funds several PhD positions for national and international Master graduates each year. The core of each application is the submission of an innovative and self-developed research proposal. The applicants will spend three years working on it at the home university of their supervising Hector Fellow.