TUNA Lunch Talk:

Robert Benjamin

Astrophysics group, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Advances in Galactic Cartography

December 14

12:10PM, Room 230, NRAO, Edgemont Road


The Milky Way Galaxy is one of the few galaxies, and the only edge-on spiral galaxy, that can be resolved in detail. But it has been a decades-long slog to try to determine its structure and ascertain how it would look to an outside observer. The considerable uncertainties in this problem has led to some amount of cynicism as to whether progress in mapping structure in the Galactic disk is even possible. In this talk, I will review three independent approaches that are now yielding new and trustworthy results, with a particular emphasis on a new approach to mapping the stellar structure of the Galactic bar(s) and disk(s). I will introduce a new diagnostic diagram for mapping Galactic stellar structure, analogous to the longitude-velocity plot used for HI and CO studies. This plot confirms three Galactic structures results that have been previously claimed and provides hints of yet more structure to be found.