Project Overview

The Milky Way galaxy is our home — and the best observed galaxy in the Universe. It is host to two dozen known dwarf galaxy satellites. The properties of these satellite galaxies provide clues to galaxy formation at low masses and to the nature of dark matter. However, to apply our detailed knowledge of Milky Way satellites to broader questions of galaxy formation and dark matter properties requires an improved understanding of the Milky Way’s place in the Universe — how do the properties of the Milky Way and its satellites compare to other similar galaxies? Our collaboration brings together observers and theorists with expertise in observations, cosmological simulations, galaxy formation, galaxy dynamics, redshift surveys, and advanced statistical techniques. We will determine the satellite content for a large sample of analogs to our own galaxy, compare them with the properties of Milky Way satellites and with a large sample of simulated Milky Way analogs, and use these observations and simulations together to test physical models for galaxy formation and dark matter.

Major project goals:

  • Determine the satellite content of a statistical sample of Galactic analogs.
  • Measure dynamical masses for the identified satellite galaxies.
  • Simulate a statistical sample of Milky Way analog halos.
  • Distinguish between theoretical explinations for the observed satellite populations