The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST; http://lsst.org) is a planned, large-aperture, wide-field, ground-based telescope that will
survey half the sky every few nights in six optical bands from 320 to 1050 nm. It will explore a wide range of astrophysical questions,
ranging from discovering “killer” asteroids, to examining the nature of dark energy.
The LSST will produce on average 15 terabytes of data per night, yielding an (uncompressed) data set of over 100 petabytes at the end of its 10-year mission. Dedicated HPC facilities will process the image data in near real time, with full-dataset reprocessings on annual scale. A sophisticated data management system will enable database queries from individual users, as well as computationally intensive scientific investigations that utilize the entire data set.
In this talk, I will review the science case for LSST and what LSST will deliver once operational. I will focus on the data products and management system, highlighting a number of differences and novel approaches compared to previous surveys. More generally, I will discuss implications of petascale data sets on astronomy in the 2020s and ways in which the community, both theorists and observers, can prepare to make the best use of them.