LSST: from Science Drivers to Reference Design and Anticipated Data Products

Kavli Affiliate: Stuart Marshall

| First 5 Authors: Željko Ivezić, Steven M. Kahn, J. Anthony Tyson, Bob Abel, Emily Acosta

| Summary:

(Abridged) We describe here the most ambitious survey currently planned in
the optical, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). A vast array of
science will be enabled by a single wide-deep-fast sky survey, and LSST will
have unique survey capability in the faint time domain. The LSST design is
driven by four main science themes: probing dark energy and dark matter, taking
an inventory of the Solar System, exploring the transient optical sky, and
mapping the Milky Way. LSST will be a wide-field ground-based system sited at
Cerro Pach'{o}n in northern Chile. The telescope will have an 8.4 m (6.5 m
effective) primary mirror, a 9.6 deg$^2$ field of view, and a 3.2 Gigapixel
camera. The standard observing sequence will consist of pairs of 15-second
exposures in a given field, with two such visits in each pointing in a given
night. With these repeats, the LSST system is capable of imaging about 10,000
square degrees of sky in a single filter in three nights. The typical 5$sigma$
point-source depth in a single visit in $r$ will be $sim 24.5$ (AB). The
project is in the construction phase and will begin regular survey operations
by 2022. The survey area will be contained within 30,000 deg$^2$ with
$delta<+34.5^circ$, and will be imaged multiple times in six bands, $ugrizy$,
covering the wavelength range 320–1050 nm. About 90% of the observing time
will be devoted to a deep-wide-fast survey mode which will uniformly observe a
18,000 deg$^2$ region about 800 times (summed over all six bands) during the
anticipated 10 years of operations, and yield a coadded map to $rsim27.5$. The
remaining 10% of the observing time will be allocated to projects such as a
Very Deep and Fast time domain survey. The goal is to make LSST data products,
including a relational database of about 32 trillion observations of 40 billion
objects, available to the public and scientists around the world.

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