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This issue of E-News includes a report on LSST at the January 2012 meeting of the American Astronomical Society, an article on Weak Lensing from the Science Book, a staff profile of Data Management Project Scientist Mario Juric, and an announcement of the first Deep Drilling fields selected by the LSST Science Council.
Project Office Update
The Project Office in Tucson keeps busy managing technical aspects of the project and keeping LSST on track for a construction start. An AURA/LSST Design and Development proposal for the final design phase was officially submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) in January. This proposed funding would support the project for 36 months or until construction funding begins, whichever comes first. We were pleased to see LSST included by name in the President’s FY13 budget request released in mid-February. LSST was given a proposed funding level of $7.5M in the NSF budget and the LSST camera is listed as a Major Item of Equipment in the DOE budget, meaning that a fabrication start is being requested. Of course, many things can happen between now and the time that the money is actually appropriated, but at least the starting position for LSST is extremely positive. Read more...
…To Seek Out New Data and New Algorithms – Mario Juric
Mario Juric, a self-described “data driven astrophysicist with interest in extracting knowledge from large survey datasets” has joined LSST as Project Scientist for Data Management. Growing up, Mario wanted to explore space and “boldly go where no one has gone before.” However, he soon realized that none of the world’s space agencies were interested in a 6'8" astronaut and decided to become an astrophysicist. “Alas, somewhere along the way I got my first computer and caught the love-to-think-about-code-and-algorithms bug,” Mario explained. “I’ve spent the rest of my career trying to reconcile my interests in computing and astronomy, until I got to my current position contributing to the astronomical data generating machine of the next decade – LSST”. Read More…
Selection of Four Deep Drilling Fields for the LSST
The LSST Science Council has selected four distant extragalactic survey fields that the project guarantees to observe as Deep Drilling Fields with deeper coverage and more frequent temporal sampling than provided by the standard LSST observing pattern. These four fields are only the first chosen for deep-drilling observations; more such fields will be chosen later. Read More…
Weak Lensing: Probing the Universe on All Scales
A spectacular example of strong gravitational lensing is the nearby galaxy cluster Abell 2218.
Mass bends light. As light from distant galaxies and stars travels to us, mass in its path acts as a lens, bending the light, so we see a distorted image of the object. Strong lensing creates arcs or multiple images, but it is very rare. Weak lensing reveals the background mass by a systematic alignment of the background sources around the lensing mass. Weak lensing studies with LSST will provide a detailed map of half of the sky – a map that will detail the structure of the Universe for scientists and the public, a map that will reveal not only what we can observe but the dark matter and energy that underlie the structure and evolution of the Universe. Bhuvnesh Jain, co-chair of LSST’s Weak Lensing Science Collaboration enthuses, “LSST weak lensing will produce a gorgeous map of the Universe as well as exquisite statistical descriptions of its deepest mysteries.” Read More…
LSST Shows its Stuff in Austin
Continuing our annual tradition, LSST again had a strong presence at the winter meeting of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) in Austin, TX. Activities included a booth all week on the exhibit hall floor, an LSST poster session, and a well-attended splinter meeting to further engage science collaboration team members with the data management efforts. Read More…
LSST is a public-private partnership. Funding for design and development activity comes from the National Science Foundation, private donations, grants to universities, and in-kind support at Department of Energy laboratories and other LSSTC Institutional Members:
Adler Planetarium; Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL); California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon University; Chile; Cornell University; Drexel University; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; George Mason University; Google, Inc.; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Institut de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3); Johns Hopkins University; Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology (KIPAC) – Stanford University; Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Inc.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL); Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL); National Optical Astronomy Observatory; National Radio Astronomy Observatory; Princeton University; Purdue University; Research Corporation for Science Advancement; Rutgers University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Space Telescope Science Institute; Texas A & M University; The Pennsylvania State University; The University of Arizona; University of California at Davis; University of California at Irvine; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Michigan; University of Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; University of Washington; Vanderbilt University
LSST E-News Team:
LSST E-News is a free email publication of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project. It is for informational purposes only, and the information is subject to change without notice.