Dr. Mario Juric is professor of astronomy at the Department of Astronomy of the University of Washington. He holds a Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University. His research is at the intersection of astrophysics and computer science and engineering: developing systems and algorithms for use with large data sets to answer questions about the Universe.

We chatted about how Mario was inspired to become an astronomer, and one notable name came up: James T. Kirk. That’s all it took. Oh, and also Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Most of the show, however, centered around two things: mapping our Milky Way galaxy and and his work on the Vera C. Rubin Observatory project, previously the LSST. Starting in 2021, this telescope will capture panoramic images of the entire visible sky twice each week for 10 years, building up our deepest, widest, image of the universe. The result: hundreds of petabytes of imaging data for close to 40 billion objects. One mission: planetary defense!

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