Galaxies in haystacks: astrostatistics and the Gaia mission

Pauline Barmby Speaker
Western University
Tuesday, Aug 8: 11:00 AM - 11:25 AM
Invited Paper Session 
Metro Toronto Convention Centre 
The European Space Agency's Gaia mission, launched in 2013, is measuring precise positions and sky motions for about a billion stars. Most of these stars are in the Milky Way galaxy, but a small fraction are in other, nearby galaxies; an even smaller fraction are not stars at all, but solar system asteroids, distant galaxies or quasars. The enormous homogeneous database produced by the Gaia team's careful and well-documented data processing provides many opportunities for astrostatistical analysis in areas including (un)supervised classification, hierarchical Bayesian modeling, data-driven modelling, and more. This talk will review the Gaia data products and how they might drive future developments in astrostatistics, using Gaia detections of stars and other objects within nearby galaxies as one example.