The Chemical Evolution of the Galactic Bulge
This science white paper addresses the issue of discovering the chemical evolution of the Galactic bulge, from which we may learn the initial mass function at the time of the formation of the bulge, the timescale for the initial burst of star formation, any evidence supporting an extended era of star formation, evidence of very early mergers of massive subcomponents, and the fraction of its mass that was contributed by late mergers. A further immediate problem concerns the composition of dwarfs measured from microlensing events versus the abundance scale measured from giants. A companion White Paper (Clarkson & Rich) addresses a set of bulge science questions that require observations at very high angular resolution.
Submitted - rich_bulge_GAN.pdf