Future Prospects: Deep Imaging of Galaxy Outskirts Using Telescopes Large and Small

  • Roberto AbrahamEmail author
  • Pieter van Dokkum
  • Charlie Conroy
  • Allison Merritt
  • Jielai Zhang
  • Deborah Lokhorst
  • Shany Danieli
  • Lamiya Mowla
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 434)


The Universe is almost totally unexplored at low surface brightness levels. In spite of great progress in the construction of large telescopes and improvements in the sensitivity of detectors, the limiting surface brightness of imaging observations has remained static for about 40 years. Recent technical advances have at last begun to erode the barriers preventing progress. In this chapter, we describe the technical challenges to low surface brightness imaging, describe some solutions and highlight some relevant observations that have been undertaken recently with both large and small telescopes. Our main focus will be on discoveries made with the Dragonfly Telephoto Array (Dragonfly), which is a new telescope concept designed to probe the Universe down to hitherto unprecedented low surface brightness levels. We conclude by arguing that these discoveries are probably only scratching the surface of interesting phenomena that are observable when the Universe is explored at low surface brightness levels.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Abraham
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Pieter van Dokkum
    • 3
  • Charlie Conroy
    • 4
  • Allison Merritt
    • 3
  • Jielai Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 5
  • Deborah Lokhorst
    • 1
    • 2
  • Shany Danieli
    • 3
    • 4
    • 6
    • 7
  • Lamiya Mowla
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Astronomy and AstrophysicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and AstrophysicsUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of AstronomyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  4. 4.Harvard-Smithsonian Center for AstrophysicsCambridgeUSA
  5. 5.Canadian Institute for Theoretical AstrophysicsTorontoCanada
  6. 6.Department of PhysicsYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  7. 7.Yale Center for Astronomy and AstrophysicsNew HavenUSA

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