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LSST E-News

LSST E-News

February 2014  •  Volume 7 Number 1

LSSTC Adds Two New Institutional Members

At the close of 2013, the LSST Corporation (LSSTC) added two new institutional members, Northwestern University (NU) and University of Oxford. Northwestern’s admission was approved at the Board of Directors’ face-to-face meeting October 2; Oxford was admitted at the Board’s December meeting. Both universities offer the expertise of leading researchers in scientific areas synergistic with LSST’s mission. The additions bring LSSTC institutional membership to 40 universities, planetaria, national observatories, national laboratories, and industry leaders.

Northwestern’s Center for Interdisciplinary Exploration and Research in Astrophysics (CIERA) led NU’s membership petition, which promoted the center’s strong focus on astrophysical research and broad interdisciplinary involvement with a wide community of researchers. Faculty and postdoctoral fellows at CIERA work on a wide range of LSST-related topics: from stellar binary mergers and LIGO to transient events, AGN surveys and characterization, dense stellar dynamics, galaxy clusters and gravitational lensing, planetary transits, and other solar system transients. In addition, a number of particle physics faculty members are interested in joining LSST, contributing in the area of statistics and big-data challenges.

The Oxford Physics Department led its membership petition, but members of the Engineering Department and the Oxford e-Research Centre (OeRC) are also interested in LSST activities. Groups within Oxford Physics have made significant contributions to many of the world's leading physics facilities through project and science teams, instrument development, construction and commissioning, and science exploitation. Oxford also offers skilled engineering staff and well-equipped mechanical and electronic workshops with state-of-the art fabrication capabilities.

Oxford faculty members are interested in LSST’s capability to elucidate the nature of dark energy. They intend to develop weak lensing analysis, including galaxy shape and photometric redshift estimation; extract dark energy parameters and test modified gravity; and cross-correlate with other probes. They are also interested in the assembly history of galaxies. Lastly, with LSST collaborators internationally, Oxford plans to develop and potentially partly host a Large Scale Survey Astronomy School to train the next generation of PhD students.

LSSTC formed in 2003 as a not-for-profit 501(c)3 Arizona corporation with four founding institutional members – The University of Arizona, The University of Washington, the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, and AURA, through its operating center, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). With headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, the Corporation’s primary purpose is to advance research and education by collaborating in the construction and operation of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope system. Through its stewardship of the private funding portion of the public/private partnership to build and operate LSST, the Corporation has contributed significantly to the LSST Project by facilitating early site preparation, mirror construction, and data management system development.

Article written by Robert McKercher

 

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; Argonne National Laboratory; Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL); California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon University; Chile; Columbia University; Cornell University; Drexel University; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory; George Mason University; Google, Inc.; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Institut de Physique Nucleaire 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; Northwestern University; Princeton University; Purdue University; Research Corporation for Science Advancement; Rutgers University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Space Telescope Science Institute; Texas A & M University; The Institute of Physics of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic; 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 Oxford; University of Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; University of Washington; Vanderbilt and Fisk Universities

LSST E-News Team:

  • Suzanne Jacoby (Editor-in-Chief)
  • Robert McKercher (Staff Writer)
  • Mark Newhouse (Design & Production: Web)
  • Emily Acosta (Design & Production: PDF/Print)
  • Additional contributors as noted

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.

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