Galaxy Archaeology with Amateurs

NGC 5907
Using off-the-shelf equipment, R. Jay GaBany was a key team member in the discovery of galaxy star streams surrounding NGC 5907.
Astronomers investigating the origin and evolution of galaxies have discovered clues to these fundamental studies with the help of an unlikely source: backyard astrophotographers.

David Martinez-Delgado of the Astrophysical Institute of the Canaries noticed extremely faint objects surrounding galaxy images captured by American amateur astronomer R. Jay GaBany. After contacting him, Martinez-Delgado invited GaBany to join his team researching star streams thought to orbit large galaxies. The fascinating story of their results appear in the January 2009 Sky & Telescope.

GaBany took a few minutes out of his busy schedule hosting the 2008 Advanced Imaging Conference in San Jose, CA, to talk to about his important role in making these ground-breaking discoveries with S&T editor and fellow astro-imager Sean Walker. Download the interview as a 3.5-MB MP3 file (10 minutes).