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).