People > Michael Blanton

Associate Professor of Physics

Ph. D. 1999, Princeton University

B.S., Cornell University

Contact Information:


(212) 998-7770


blanton AT

Personal Home Page:


Office 941

726 Broadway

New York, NY 10003


I study the formation and evolution of galaxies, by confronting theoretical predictions with results from large observational data sets. My current research focuses on three area. First, the population of extremely low luminosity galaxies, using data from the Magellan 6.5m telescopes, the Kitt Peak National Observatory 4m telescope, the Green Bank Telescope, Arecibo, and the Very Large Array. Second, the change in the galaxy population since early epochs, using a new instrument for obtaining huge numbers of high redshifts -- a low dispersion prism on the IMACS instrument at Magellan (see PRIMUS at Third, the large-scale structure in the galaxy distribution, using huge maps of the Universe I am helping (with very large teams!) to create, such as the Sloan Digital Sky Survey --- and its successors (see SDSS at In all of this work I develop new and powerful numerical and statistical techniques to better execute, calibrate and analyze these large surveys.

Selected Publications:

1. Galaxies in SDSS and DEEP2: A Quiet Life on the Blue Sequence?, Blanton, Michael R., The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 648, Issue 1, pp. 268-280,

2. The Properties and Luminosity Function of Extremely Low Luminosity Galaxies, Blanton, Michael R.; Lupton, Robert H.; Schlegel, David J.; Strauss, Michael A.; Brinkmann, J.; Fukugita, Masataka; Loveday, Jon, The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 631, Issue 1, pp. 208-230,

3. An Efficient Targeting Strategy for Multiobject Spectrograph Surveys: the Sloan Digital Sky Survey ``Tiling' Algorithm, Blanton, Michael R.; Lin, Huan; Lupton, Robert H.; Maley, F. Miller; Young, Neal; Zehavi, Idit; Loveday, Jon, The Astronomical Journal, Volume 125, Issue 4, pp. 2276-2286,

4. The Luminosity Function of Galaxies in SDSS Commissioning Data, Blanton, Michael R.; Dalcanton, Julianne, et, al., The Astronomical Journal, Volume 121, Issue 5, pp. 2358-2380,

5. The Physical Origin of Scale-dependent Bias in Cosmological Simulations, Blanton, Michael; Cen, Renyue; Ostriker, Jeremiah P.; Strauss, Michael A., The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 522, Issue 2, pp. 590-603,