Galactic Archaeology with TESS: Prospects for Testing the Star Formation History in the Solar Neighbourhood

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A period of quenching between the formation of the thick and thin disks of the Milky Way has been recently proposed to explain the observed age-[{\alpha}/Fe] distribution of stars in the solar neighbourhood. However, robust constraints on stellar ages are currently available for only a limited number of stars. The all-sky survey TESS (Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite) will observe the brightest stars in the sky and thus can be used to investigate the age distributions of stars in these components of the Galaxy via asteroseismology, where previously this has been difficult using other techniques. The aim of this preliminary study was to determine whether TESS will be able to provide evidence for quenching periods during the star formation history of the Milky Way. Using a population synthesis code, we produced populations based on various stellar formation history models and limited the analysis to red-giant-branch stars. We investigated the mass-Galactic-disk-height distributions, where stellar mass was used as an age proxy, to test for whether periods of quenching can be observed by TESS. We found that even with the addition of 15% noise to the inferred masses, it will be possible for TESS to find evidence for/against quenching periods suggested in the literature (e.g. between 7 and 9 Gyr ago), therefore providing stringent constraints on the formation and evolution of the Milky Way.

Bibliographic note

4 pages, 3 figures, proceedings of "Seismology of the Sun and the Distant Stars 2016", Mario J. P. F. G. Monteiro, Margarida S. Cunha, Joao Miguel T. Ferreira editors


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSeismology of the Sun and the Distant Stars 2016 – Using Today’s Successes to Prepare the Future – TASC2 & KASC9 Workshop – SPACEINN & HELAS8 Conference
Publication statusPublished - 27 Oct 2017
EventSeismology of the Sun and the Distant Stars 2016 – Using Today’s Successes to Prepare the Future:: TASC2 & KASC9 Workshop – SPACEINN & HELAS8 Conference - Açores Islands, Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
Duration: 11 Jul 201625 Jul 2016

Publication series

NameEPJ Web of Conferences
PublisherEDP Sciences
ISSN (Print)2101-6275


ConferenceSeismology of the Sun and the Distant Stars 2016 – Using Today’s Successes to Prepare the Future:
CityAngra do Heroísmo
Internet address


  • astro-ph.SR, astro-ph.GA