The Milky Way’s Entourage: Dwarf Galaxies, Dark Matter and Machine Learning


April 1, 2014


Marla Geha


Yale University


Our Milky Way galaxy is host to 25 smaller satellite galaxies. These satellites are among the least luminous and most dark matter dominated galaxies in the known Universe. However, their number and properties do not fully agree with predictions from otherwise extremely success models of galaxy formation. I will discuss the properties of the Milky Way satellites, including the limits these objects set on the nature of dark matter, and then describe a project to expand the study of satellite galaxies around system beyond the Milky Way.


Marla Geha

With joint appointments in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics, Professor Marla Geha has broad research interests in galaxy formation, near-field cosmology, dwarf galaxies, dark matter, and Milky Way structure. Professor Geha received her Ph.D. in 2003 from the University of California, Santa Cruz and was then a Hubble Fellow at the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. She arrived as an assistant Professor at Yale University in 2008 and was promoted to the rank of full Professor in 2013. In 2009, Professor Geha was named one of Popular Science magazine’s “Brilliant 10” young scientists in the country. In 2010 she was selected as an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow and in 2013 was a Kavli Frontiers of Science Fellow.