The Universe is filled with tiny galaxies. Some of these contain a billion times fewer stars than our own Milky Way — as little as a few hundred stars. These small galaxies can provide clues to the onset of galaxy formation as well as to the nature of dark matter that makes up more than eighty percent of the mass in the Universe. KIPAC Director Risa Wechsler will describe new discoveries of these galaxies in our Galactic backyard and what they can teach us about the dark universe and the ways it lights up.
Risa Wechsler is the Director of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology and a Professor of Physics at Stanford University. Her work explores questions about our existence on the largest scales. She is currently playing a leading role in surveys that are mapping out tens of billions of galaxies from the last 13 billion years to the present day. Her research is aimed at learning how galaxies form and figuring out the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Wechsler is a Fellow of the American Physical Society as well as a former NASA Hubble Fellow, and has written about and discussed science in numerous public venues from Teen Vogue to the BBC.