• COSMIC-LAB: Terzan 5 as a fossil remnant of the Galactic bulge formation epoch
  • Massari, Davide <1987>


  • FIS/05 Astronomia e astrofisica


  • The formation and evolution of galaxy bulges is a greatly debated topic in modern astrophysics. An approach to address this issue is to look at the Galactic bulge, the closest to us. According to some theoretical models, our bulge built-up from the merger of substructures formed from the instability and fragmentation of a proto-disk in the early phases of Galactic evolution. We may have discovered the remnant of one of these substructures: the stellar system Terzan 5. Terzan 5 hosts two stellar populations with different iron abundances, thus suggesting it once was far more massive than today. Moreover, its peculiar chemistry resembles that observed only in the Galactic bulge. In this Thesis we perform a detailed photometric and spectroscopic analysis of this cluster to determine its formation and evolutionary histories. Form the photometric point of view we built a high-resolution differential reddening map in Terzan 5 direction and we measured relative proper motions to separate its member population from the contaminating field stars. This information represents the necessary work to measure the absolute ages of Terzan 5 populations via the Turn-off luminosity method. From the spectroscopic point of view we measured abundances for more than 600 stars belonging to Terzan 5 and its surroundings in order to build the largest field-decontaminated metallicity distribution for this system. We find that the metallicity distribution is extremely wide (more than 1 dex) and we discovered a third, metal-poor and alpha-enhanced population with average [Fe/H]=-0.8. The striking similarity between Terzan 5 and the bulge in terms of their chemical formation and evolution revealed by this Thesis suggests that Terzan 5 formed in situ with the bulge itself. In particular its metal-poor populations trace the early stages of the bulge formation, while its most metal-rich component contains crucial information on the bulge more recent evolution.


  • 2014-12-15


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Massari, Davide (2014) COSMIC-LAB: Terzan 5 as a fossil remnant of the Galactic bulge formation epoch, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Astronomia , 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6731.