Other phylogenetic studies in astrophysics

2016 seems is a new milestone for astrocladistics: fifteen years after the beginning of this adventure, and ten years after the first papers were published, other phylogenetic analyses,  in which I am not involved, have been published. They use either Maximum Parsimony (cladistics) or Neighbour Joining:

  • Cladistical Analysis of the Jovian Satellites, Holt, Brown & Nesvorny : poster and proceeding of the 47th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference.
  • Cosmology with Type Ia Supernovae, Gangler & Leget: talk and seminar.
  • Cosmic phylogeny: reconstructing the chemical history of the solar neighbourhood with an evolutionary tree, Jofre, Das, Bertranpetit & Foley: ADS link.

The latter paper is subject to an article in Scientific American: Galactica stellaris: Astronomers Build a Family Tree for the Milky Way’s Stars.

This is an excellent news for me. I did not imagine in 2001 that phylogenetic approaches could be useful to so many astrophysical kinds of entities: galaxies, dwarf galaxies, quasars, stellar clusters, stars, Gamma Ray Bursts, Supernovae, planetary satellites. And even disks of debris (kind of proto-planetary disks) a study that we did not publish.

This is also an excellent news for the phylogenetic tools since we see so many machine learning techniques in the astrophysical literature that are used only once (see for instance our review paper for galaxies).

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