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Today's colloquium: LSST: a digital color movie of the Universe

Submitter: Colloquium
Description: The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the top ground-based priority in the US Astro2010 Decadal Survey report, will carry out an imaging survey covering the sky that is visible from Cerro Pachon in Northern Chile. With about 1000 observations of half the sky in six optical bands over a 10-year period, the LSST data will enable faint time-domain astronomy and a deep stack across half the sky reaching hundred times fainter flux limit than the SDSS survey.

The resulting hundreds of petabytes of imaging data for about 20 billion objects will be used for scientific investigations ranging from the properties of near-Earth asteroids and brown dwarfs, to characterizations of dark matter and energy from strong and weak lensing, galaxy clustering, and distant supernovae. These data will represent a treasure trove for follow-up programs using other ground and space-based telescopes, such as fast-response fast-cadence photometric observations and spectroscopy, as well as for facilities operating at non-optical wavelengths and for gravitational wave programs.

I will summarize the main LSST science drivers, and will illustrate them using ongoing work based on SDSS and other data, with emphasis on quasar variability, the Milky Way structure, and the Solar System studies.
Copyright: Dr. Z. Ivezic
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