A feeble giant appears

So much of our night sky has yet to be mapped by large, deep surveys.  A recent paper highlights the importance of ongoing work, as astronomers have just iddes-dwarf-galaxy-candidates-480px-300x171entified a new companion galaxy to our Milky Way.  Named “Crater 2” this galaxy is the fourth largest discovered around our Galaxy, and is quite distant, nearly 400,000 light years away.  You can read more about Crater 2 and my take on it over at Sky and Telescope.

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Astronomy in the Era of Large Surveys

I got the chance to speak at Google over the winter break as part of the Talks at Google series.  If you are interested in hearing the talk, its now on YouTube (and embedded below).  The entire trip to Mountain View was a great time, and the audience for my talk was engaging and had great questions.  Astronomy is entering an exciting era, where surveys such as Gaia and LSST will provide the precise data needed to answer some of our biggest questions,  including characterizing dark energy and producing exquisite maps of the Milky Way.  Moreover, all of the data will be public, meaning anyone with an internet connection can get their hands on cutting edge data.  The opportunities for citizen science will be outstanding.  Hope you enjoy the talk!