Characterising target selection effects in stellar surveys

Large scale stellar surveys are observing from thousands to millions of stars across the Galaxy in a quest to understand how the Milky Way has formed and evolved. However, to make sense of this all, dealing with survey selection functions (i.e. how targets are selected in a survey) and target selection effects (i.e. the likelihood that a star with certain parameters will pass a selection function) is becoming an increasingly important topic to derive unbiased inferences from the study of a large number of stars.

In this project, the student will learn how to use a stellar population model. For a given survey selection function in colour and magnitude space, a probability is return to observe stars of known age, chemical composition and distance. The goal is to develop the code further into a web interface, so that the astronomical community at large can use it, and apply it to most surveys. 

For more information about this potential research topic or activity, or to discuss any related research area, please contact the supervisor.

Caption to figure: Plot illustrating the probability of stars to be observed as function of metallicity [M/H] and distance (in parsecs) for two different selection functions of the GALAH survey (dubbed pilot and main).