#GaiaSprint, day 3

Today we got amazing success with an incredibly simple (read: dumb-ass) project for making precise maps of the Milky Way: Lauren Anderson (Flatiron) and I built a data-driven model of dust extinction, using the red-clump stars in the TGAS sample that we deconvolved last month. We then applied this dust inference to every single star in the full billion-star catalog (requiring 2MASS photometry), and selected stars whose dust-corrected color is consistent with being a RC star. That is, we assumed that every star with the correct de-reddened color is a RC star. RC stars are standard candles, so then we could map the entire MW disk. The maps are precise, but contaminated. So much structure visible. Adrian Price-Whelan (Princeton) says we are seeing a flaring disk!

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