▪ Abstract 

We discuss the importance of very metal-poor stars to develop an understanding of the nature of the first stars that formed in the Universe and the nucleosynthesis events associated with them, as well as to refine models of galaxy formation, in particular for large spiral galaxies such as the Milky Way. After briefly reviewing the history of the search for very metal-deficient stars in the Galaxy, we summarize ongoing efforts, concentrating on the two large objective-prism surveys that have led to the discovery of the majority of stars with [Fe/H] < −2.0 known at present: the HK survey of Beers and collaborators and the Hamburg/ESO survey of Christlieb and collaborators. We then consider the wealth of information that can be gleaned from high-resolution spectroscopic study of very metal-poor stars. We close with a list of open questions and a discussion of new survey techniques that will expand the sample of recognized very metal-deficient stars in the Galaxy by several orders of magnitude.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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