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Asteroids to Reionization: The Broad Reach of Survey Astronomy

Presentation #138.01 in the session Heineman Prize Lecture.

Published onJun 29, 2022
Asteroids to Reionization: The Broad Reach of Survey Astronomy

The 2021 Heineman Prize recognizes technical and scientific contributions to astronomical surveys, especially the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which has been one of the most influential astronomy projects of the past half-century.

We will jointly recap our experiences with the early phases of the SDSS, then each talk about aspects of our current work that build on that experience.

RHL will describe development of hardware, software, and analysis strategies for the Vera Rubin Observatory and the Subaru Prime Focus Spectrograph, with applications in cosmology and galaxy evolution. DHW will describe analyses of the elemental abundance fingerprints measured for hundreds of thousands of stars by the APOGEE surveys of SDSS-III and SDSS-IV, aimed at characterizing the distribution of stellar populations in chemical abundance space and disentangling the roles of supernova nucleosynthesis and Milky Way evolution.

For each of us, our work with the SDSS and its successors has drawn us into new science areas and connected us to scientists with radically different expertise. We will conclude with our reflections on what the SDSS experience tells us about building a successful astronomical survey and survey collaboration.

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