LSST Director Steve Kahn and Project Scientist Zeljko Ivezic made a tour of major astronomical institutions in Australia during the last week in October. This so-called LSST “Road Show” came at the request of the Australian astronomical community and allowed that community to interact directly with the LSST leadership in investigating possible Australian involvement in the operations phase of the program. The tour included day-long sessions at the Australian Astronomical Observatory headquarters in Sydney, at Mt. Stromlo Observatory of the Australian National University in Canberra, at Swinburne University in Melbourne, and at the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research on the campus of the University of Western Australia in Perth.
Each of the four-stops was well-attended by local astronomers. The visits not only allowed Steve and Zeljko to provide the attendees with a better understanding of the science and programmatics of LSST, but also to hear of the exciting ways in which the Australian groups thought they could engage in the program. Australia brings a rich tradition of southern hemisphere astronomy, and the community there has played a pioneering role in a large number of relevant complementary survey projects, including GAMA, GALAH, SAMI, Wigglez, Skymapper, ASKAP, MWA, and SKA.
A highlight of the trip involved re-engaging with Jeremy Mould (now at Swinburne University), a key participant in getting LSST started when he was the Director of NOAO. Jeremy remains highly engaged in the science of LSST, and was delighted to hear of the progress we have made with the project. Pictured here (L-R) is Steve Kahn, Sarah Brough (Australian Astronomical Observatory), Jeremey Mould, and Zeljko Ivezic. Sarah served as our host for the sessions in Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne.
All in all, this was a very enjoyable and worthwhile visit, and we look forward to what we hope will be a long and fertile collaboration with the Australians as the LSST program moves forward.
Suzanne Jacoby (Editor-in-Chief)
Robert McKercher (Staff Writer)
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