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3D stellar cartography: Revealing the structure of the Local Group with variable stars

Event details of Victoria Scowcroft
Date 27 September 2017
Time 11:00 -12:00
Victoria Scowcroft

Variable stars have long been used as standard candles within the Local Group. Recent advances in mid-infrared imaging have taken variable star distances to a new level of precision, meaning that we can now use them to create high-fidelity 3D maps of our nearest neighbours. In this talk, I will show how mid-IR observations of Cepheids and RR Lyrae stars are used to map out the 3D structure of the Milky Way and Magellanic Clouds, and how we can use them to study the evolutionary history of these systems. I will describe the advances that will come from Gaia, JWST and LSST, and the influence that these results will have on measurements of the Hubble constant and the cosmological parameters.