Columbia Astronomy Students Participates in Research Program in Chile

October 23, 2017

Kirsten Blancato, a Ph.D. student in the Astronomy Department at Columbia University, spent the month of October visiting Santiago working with Thomas Puzia at Universidad Catolica's Institute for Astrophysics. Kirsten is the third Columbia student that has participated in an exchange program on astrophysics between Columbia and Universidad Católica sponsored by the President's Global Innovation Fund (PGIF).

The team started work on a project studying the stellar populations and chemical abundances of globular clusters in the Milky Way, using observations taken with the European Organization for Astronomical Research´s (ESO) Very Large Telescope (VLT). In particular, this work aims to shed some light on recent observations of massive elliptical galaxies, which suggest that the mass distribution of stars in a galaxy is not universal (as traditionally assumed), but varies with the conditions of star-formation.