Today was the third and final day of The Galactic Renaissance. Rosie Wyse (JHU) and Branimir Sesar (MPIA) both showed evidence for vertical ripples going outwards in the Milky Way disk. These could plausibly be raised by an encounter with Sagittarius or something similar. However, Sesar argued that the amplitude is too large to be anything reasonable in the Local Group. That suggests that maybe the evidence isn't secure?
Raja GuhaThakurta (UCSC) mentioned the argument that the halo is worth observing because you can see the accretion history, at least in principle. There were talks after his by Sales (UCR), Lee (Vanderbilt), and Bonaca (CfA) on the observed and simulated properties of our halo.
Phil Hopkins (Caltech) and Yves Revaz (EPFL) gave impressive galaxy simulation results. Hopkins's renderings are just the bomb, and we discussed them in some detail afterwards. Hopkins claimed that low-mass galaxies (at least star-forming ones) are always so far out of steady-state, you can never measure their masses using virial or other steady-state indicators. He also brought up the point that the dust in the ISM has different dynamics than the molecular gas, and therefore there might be insane separation of material as stars form. I also discussed that with him afterwards.