Galactic archeology aims to study the structure and evolution of our galaxy by measuring ages and chemical compositions of stellar populations in different parts of the Milky Way. Several large observing programs are currently underway to obtain spectra of stellar populations such as the APOGEE survey, the GALAH survey, SAGA, LAMOST and the Gaia-ESO survey. I am a board member of the APOGEE-Kepler Asteroseismic Science Consortium collaboration (APOKASC), and a member of the GALAH and SAGA survey teams.

The combination of spectroscopy with asteroseismology in red giant stars is a particularly powerful combination for galactic archeology, since it allows the precise determinations of masses (and thus ages) as well as chemical compositions. Another advantage is that the red giants are very luminous, and hence can be observed out to very large distances. In a recent paper with Savita Mathur, we identified a new population of red giants observed by Kepler which are located nearly at the edge of our Milky Way Galaxy. The plot on the right compares this new population of oscillating giants (highlighed in green) with the previously known red giants observed by CoRoT and Kepler.

A particularly exciting prospect for galactic archeology and asteroseismology is the K2 Mission, which observes different parts of the galaxy in each campaign. The K2 Galactic Archeology Program aims to provide asteroseismic parameters for these different populations. The animation below shows a model of the different populations in our galaxy that will be observed.