The Astronomy Department is hosting a colloquium entitled, “The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: Update and Opportunities,” with Patrick Osmer.
Description: The LSST, with its 8.2-m diameter primary mirror, 10 sq deg field of view, and 3,200 Megapixel camera, will produce the widest, fastest, and deepest survey of the sky ever recorded. During its 10 year survey it will cover 40% of the entire sky in six filter bands spanning the optical spectral region and observe each field about 800 times. It will address four main science topics, Hazardous Asteroids and the Remote Solar System, Formation and Structure of the Milky Way, The Transient Optical Sky, and Dark Matter and Dark Energy, in addition to a broad range of other research. The LSST is the highest priority ground-based telescope in the U.S. for this decade. It is a partnership of the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy. Full funding has been approved, with the NSF providing a not to exceed amount of $473M for the telescope and the DOE providing $168M for the camera. The telescope construction is being managed in Tucson by AURA and the camera construction by SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford. The telescope will be located on Cerro Pachon in northern Chile. The LSST Survey will produce 15 Terabytes of raw data and detect about 10 million objects per night that have moved or changed brightness. The final database will contain 150 petabytes. Managing this large amount of data and providing tools for research with it are genuine ‘big data’ challenges. Major software efforts for the project are underway at the University of Washington, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois, and at Princeton University. The LSST will offer a new way to do science. In this talk I will provide an update on the current state of construction for the project and the plans and schedule for completing and beginning the operations phase. I will then discuss some of the scientific, technical, and possible career opportunities arising from the project.
Coffee and donuts served at 3:30 in Vernier Commons in the Physics Research Building