March 9

Jo Bovy (IAS)

New Observational Constraints on the Structure of the Milky Way Disk

Observations of the structure and kinematics of different stellar populations in the Milky Way's disk provide a unique perspective on disk formation and evolution. I will discuss how current and future data sets that provide detailed kinematics and elemental abundances beyond the solar neighborhood lead to qualitatively new tests of internal and external disk evolution models. In particular, I will show recent results from a dissection into mono-abundance components of the Galactic disk based on SDSS/SEGUE data. These results show that the individual components are simple, but exhibit very different spatial structure, and they lend direct observational support for inside-out formation models for galactic disks.