The development of a new generation of telescopes, wide-field detectors, and computational facilities has led to an era where it is now possible for deep optical surveys to survey a large fraction of the visible sky. One of the largest of these surveys, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), will comprise an 8.4 m primary mirror with a 9.6 square degree field-of-view and a 3.2 Gigapixel camera and begin operations at the end of this decade. Over the ten years of its operation, the LSST will survey half of the sky in six optical colors, discovering 37 billion stars and galaxies and detecting about 10 million variable or transient sources every night. In this talk, I will describe some of the latest developments from the LSST, introduce new algorithmic approaches for detecting variable and moving objects (including using atmospheric refraction to extract spectral information), show how we can increase the yield of variable and transient sources by modifying the cadence and observing strategy of the LSST, and describe some of the computational challenges we face with the LSST when working with petabyte data sets.
Host: Salvo Vitale