Cosmological Highlights from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey


Fri, 23 Jan 2015, 03:00 pm - 04:30 pm
Natural Science Bldg. 112 - Louisville, KY
Spring 2015


David Weinberg
Dept. of Astronomy
Ohio State University
140 W. 18th Ave.
Columbus, OH 43210


Date: January 23, 2015
Time: 03:00 pm 
Room: NS112


I will describe some of the scientific highlights from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), concentrating on those connected to cosmology and galaxy formation. In the three phases to date, SDSS-I, II, and III, the Sloan collaboration has carried out several of the largest and most ambitious surveys of the distant universe and the Milky Way galaxy, with deep digital imaging over one third of the sky and spectroscopy of more than 2 million galaxies, 200,000 quasars, and half a million stars. Cosmological achievements include: probing the epoch of reionization with the most distant known quasars; comprehensively characterizing the properties of galaxies and the relations between galaxies and their parent dark matter halos; discovering ubiquitous substructure in the outer Milky Way and more than a dozen new companion satellite galaxies; mapping cosmic expansion over the last four billion years with more than 500 Type Ia supernovae; and, through its precision measurements of structure on very large scales, providing a central pillar of the standard cosmological model based on inflation, cold dark matter, and dark energy. I will review these highlights, with particular attention to recent progress in measuring the properties of dark energy through baryon acoustic oscillations. I will summarize plans and prospects for SDSS-IV, which began in July 2014.


Natural Science Bldg. 112