CORDIS - EU research results

NEar FiEld cosmology: Re-Tracing Invisible TImes


The goal of NEFERTITI is to make a major step forward in our understanding of the first stars and galaxies by catching the stellar fossils from the early Universe in our Galactic neighborhood. To move beyond the state-of-the-art and study many of these precious fossils, I will adopt a novel approach that integrates theoretical and observational research and that will allow me to fully exploit: i) the huge data-flow from upcoming stellar surveys, ii) my cosmological models, which uniquely link Local data and early cosmic star-formation.

The first stars profoundly influenced the primordial Universe, affecting subsequent stellar generations and the build-up of the first galaxies. In spite of extraordinary progress in theoretical modeling and observational techniques little is known about their properties, not even their typical mass. A direct exploration of their formation epochs is a tremendous challenge. Even JWST will not see the faint dwarf galaxies where the first stars formed more than 13 billion years ago.

In the Local Group, the living relics of the first stars can be directly observed and used to re-trace the chemical evolution and star-formation of the gas during those “invisible” times. Yet, these early Universe survivors are very rare and difficult to catch. In the present era of wide and deep Local surveys, such as DES, Gaia-ESO, and WEAVE, the total number of stars observed is dramatically increasing. Combining semi-numerical models with radiative transfer codes, I will fully exploit these novel data flow to catch the local stellar fossils and to:

1) constrain the mass distribution of the first stars,
2) uncover the physical processes driving the build-up of the first galaxies.

NEFERTITI will link Near and Far-field cosmology, give new insights into the formation of the Local Group, guide the interpretation of data from future surveys, and pave the way for the exploitation of new generation spectrographs on the E-ELT (MOSAIC, HIRES).


Host institution

Net EU contribution
€ 1 180 813,00
Piazza San Marco 4
50121 Florence

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Centro (IT) Toscana Firenze
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 1 180 813,00

Beneficiaries (1)