Small Galaxies, Big Science: Near-field Cosmology with Milky Way Satellite Galaxies
Alex Drlica-Wagner
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

The small satellite galaxies of our Milky Way are the most ancient, most metal-poor, and most dark-matter- dominated systems known. These extreme objects offer a unique opportunity to test the standard model of cosmology, while also providing insights into the formation of galaxies, stars, and the heavy elements. Over the past three years, the unprecedented sensitivity of the Dark Energy Camera has allowed us to double the known population of ultra-faint Milky Way satellites. I will discuss recent results, outstanding questions, and upcoming advances in the study of the Milky Way's dark companions.