The Milky Way is an essential laboratory being explored by current large-scale surveys  that provides information not only for the local Universe but by extrapolation, the more distant Universe. In particular, the exquisite sensitivity and angular resolution of new, powerful facilities such as JWST allow us to make comparisons between our Galaxy and external galaxies that were unthinkable only two decades ago. This unmistakable link between our own Milky Way and the Cosmos will be the focus of the next generation of Galactic surveys. 

This conference will tackle these main topics: 

  • Star Formation and ISM 
  • Structure of the Galaxy 
  • Stellar Astrophysics 
  • Time Domain Astronomy  

Each of these topics will be addressed by trying to answer the following question: what have we learned from studying our Galaxy that is applicable to or sheds light on the rest of the Universe? 


The conference will also be a venue to celebrate IPAC's historical involvement in surveys that better informed our understanding of the Galaxy, with missions such as 2MASS, IRAS, WISE and Spitzer.  

Looking towards the future, the conference will cover the potential of future surveys of the Milky Way as key components of upcoming missions’ science programs.