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Meet the AAS Keynote Speakers: Dr. Julianne Dalcanton

6 Jan 2019, 20:33 UTC
Meet the AAS Keynote Speakers: Dr. Julianne Dalcanton
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In this series of posts, we sit down with a few of the keynote speakers of the 233nd AAS meeting to learn more about them and their research. You can see a full schedule of their talks here!

Visiting the neighborsDepending on how you look at it, the Milky Way is either the easiest or the hardest galaxy to study. It’s easy to study because it’s right here—we can study the Milky Way’s individual stars, unlike more distant galaxies that just look like fuzzy blobs of light. But it’s also incredibly hard to study the Milky Way because we’re inside it—we don’t have a birds-eye view of the entire galaxy, making it difficult to understand the full context of our observations.Fortunately, the Milky Way has lots of neighbors. One of them, the Andromeda galaxy (M31), is another massive spiral galaxy, and in many ways it’s the perfect laboratory for studying Milky Way-like galaxies. We’re not in M31, but it’s close enough that we can observe individual stars in it; even better, all of its stars are at the same distance, so their relative brightnesses can tell us about their physical properties. We can even go a step further and supplement ...

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