Knitting Together an Amazing new Multi-Color View of the Milky Way, in 3D

Presentation Date: 

Thursday, July 23, 2020



Presentation Slides: 

A talk at the 2020 ngVLA Summer Short Talk Series, by Alyssa Goodman. Normally, when astronomers see beautiful, “3D” movies of the Milky Way or the stars and clouds within it, they assume those movies to be cartoons or computer simulations.  In this talk, I will describe revolutionary data sets  and data-science techniques that are enabling REAL 3D movies of the Milky Way to be made—right now. In particular, I will focus on how so-called “3D dust mapping” has gotten a tremendous distance resolution boost from Gaia, and how interweaving velocity information from spectral-line data cubes, dust maps and 3D stellar velocities  reveals never-before-seen views of the solar neighborhood of the Milky Way.  The recent discovery Radcliffe Wave, which redefines our understanding of Milky Way’s Local Arm (, is just the first in a series of revelations to come from this knitting project. 

Dataverse link to all materials, including Keynote slides

A YouTube video of just the slides is online now.  Online knitting figure is here, and the Radcliffe Wave site is here.

Reference with doi for this work:  Goodman, Alyssa, 2020, "Knitting Together an Amazing new Multi-Color View of the Milky Way, in 3D",, Harvard Dataverse, V1