Seeing the invisible by measuring galaxy shapes from noisy, blurry images
- Speaker: Prof Sarah Bridle (University of Manchester, Physics and Astronomy)
- Host: Robert Stevens
- 21st October 2015 at 14:00 in Kilburn L.T. 1.4
I will describe the great potential and possible limitations of using the bending of light by gravity (gravitational lensing) to constrain the mysterious dark matter and dark energy which seem to dominate the contents of our Universe. In particular we have to remove the blurring effects of our telescopes and the atmosphere to extreme precision, to measure the shapes of galaxies to extreme accuracy. I will discuss the recent GREAT image analysis Challenges we have set to astronomers and beyond. I will then describe the recent results we obtained from the preliminary Dark Energy Survey data of 3 million galaxies, and the potential of the full dataset of 300 million galaxies in the next 5 years. Finally I will overview the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project, the premier ground-based optical imaging survey of the next decade, which is expected produce over 100 petabytes over 10 years. LSST will enable a diverse array of astronomical and fundamental physics investigations including: the search for small moving objects in the solar system, studies of the assembly history of the Milky Way, and measure shapes of around 3 billion galaxies.