(Texas A&M University)
Exploring Milky Way Halo Substructure with Large-Area Sky Surveys
Over the last two decades, large-area photometric surveys have provided deep photometric catalogs of stars in the Milky Way. As a result, our understanding of the formation of the Galactic halo has evolved from a simple monolithic collapse model to a much more complex and dynamic structure. The stellar halo is now known to be inhabited by a variety of spatial and kinematic stellar substructures, ranging from stellar streams to dwarf galaxy satellites, all of which are predicted by hierarchical Lambda-CDM models of galaxy formation. In my talk, I will present the latest discoveries of the halo substructures found in the Dark Energy Survey (DES). I will also discuss the spectroscopic follow-up observations of the stellar debris candidates found in the Two Micron All Sky Survey and the dwarf galaxy candidates found in DES. These newly discovered features can provide a more complete census of our Galaxy’s formation history.