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Latest CIFIST News
CIFIST members are involved in organizing the:
IAU JD 10 "3D views on cool stellar atmospheres: theory meets observation"
The CIFIST project
CIFIST - standing for the Cosmological Impact of the First STars - is a
reseach team financed by the European Commission through
a Marie Curie Excellence grant (for more information see the MC EXT Programme Handbook) within the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).
The CIFIST Project's main objective is to
study the properties of the first generation of stars which were an important
source of metals and ionizing photons, these in turn, have important
bearings on the subsequent galaxy formation and evolution. The CIFIST Team is
hosted by the Observatoire de Paris-Meudon. Its five members work in close collaboration with the scientists of the
Observatoire, and began their activities
on September 1st 2005.
The method of choice to meet the objectives of the CIFIST project is to study the ancient
stars in the Milky Way and galaxies of the Local Group. The chemical
composition of such stars is the fossil record of of the galaxy as it
was forged by the first generation of stars. The chemical abundance
patterns in these stars pose important constraints on the properties of
the first generation of stars, noticeably on their masses.
If stars of primordial chemical composition and low mass (M<MSun)
were formed, they should still shine on the Main Sequence today.
Although no such star has been found today, there are still good
motivations to push the search to the very limits of our own Galaxy, to
see if there indeed exists a critical metallicity (Z~ 2.5x10-4 ZSun)
for the formation of low mass stars, as has been suggested
The fields in which the CIFIST Team expects to make substantial advances are:
- High resolution spectroscopy for detailed chemical analysis
of the most metal poor stars
- Accurate physical modeling of stellar atmospheres taking
into account their three dimensional nature
- Exploitation of existing or upcoming large spectroscopic
Surveyes (noticeably SDSS
and planning of new ones
CIFIST is associated with the First Stars Team at Paris Observatory
(GEPI): R. Cayrel, P. Francois, V. Hill, B. Lemasle, F. Spite and M.