Recovering the star formation history
in our Galaxy and in nearby galaxies
with deep color-magnitude diagrams

Dr. Michele Cignoni
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Pisa

In this talk I will discuss the technique of deriving the star formation history (SFH) of a composite stellar population through the comparison of state-of-the-art synthetic color-magnitude diagrams (CMD) with the observational counterpart. As a first example I will present the SFH of 23 star forming dwarf galaxies between 3 and 12 Mpc using HST data from the Legacy ExtraGalactic UV Survey (LEGUS). Approximately half of our galaxies show spatial progression of star formation in the last 60 Myr, and/or very recent diffuse and off-center activity compared to RGB stars. As a second example I will present some key results about the structure and global SFH of the Small Magellanic Cloud using VST (the ESO VLT Survey Telescope) data. Finally, I will discuss the impact of the synthetic CMD approach to the ongoing study of the Milky Way SFH in light of the Gaia data.