I have spent the last two days in Hull for the National Astronomy Meeting (NAM). I have seen a number of excellent talks already. In particular, the session on low surface brightness galaxies yesterday was fascinating and had a number of gems in it. David Valls-Gabaud gave a great overview of the field. It was particularly interesting to me because I realised the problem I work on (deblending) will be increasingly important as we move into the era of deeper and deeper surveys. As our telescopes become more sensitive we can observe fainter and fainter objects and the sky becomes more full of things. This means they are more likely to overlap and the problem of determining where light comes from becomes harder and harder. It was good to remind myself of the final aim of my work.
The day finished with a fantastic public talk by Chris Lintott. It was pitched at a perfect level for the public, but I also think a lot of us early stage career scientists and PhD students found it refreshing. Sometimes, particularly in fields you don’t directly work on, you learn a lot more by starting at the beginning. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the questions by 5-10 year olds were very probing and highlighted the vast amount there is still to learn. They have more courage to admit that they don’t know something!
Here are the slides from the talk I gave: