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October 2013  •  Volume 6 Number 3


LSST Europe

International collaborations are explored at LSST@Europe

The Institute of Astronomy, University of Cambridge, UK was the site of a recent conference, LSST@EUROPE, that brought together US and European scientists for four days of talks and discussions to foster international collaboration. LSST Project Scientist Zeljko Ivezic chaired the Science Organizing Committee and attended the conference with several colleagues.

With LSST moving towards the start of federal construction expected in 2014, and with science operations planned to commence in 2021, it was timely to consider the scientific opportunities of LSST in the era of major new European facilities, especially wide-field missions such as Gaia, eRosita and Euclid, and flagship ground based facilities such as ESO’s E-ELT. This first meeting in Europe that was focused exclusively on LSST-related science brought together LSST scientists and over 100 European scientists from 20 countries involved in, or interested in, taking LSST forward. The Science Organizing Committee was chaired by Zeljko Ivezic and included three members of LSST Project (Mario Juric, Andy Connolly and Robert Lupton). The meeting was also attended by Project members Steve Kahn, Tony Tyson, and Abi Saha, as well as by representatives of funding agencies (Jim Ulvestad and Nigel Sharp from NSF and Kathy Turner from DOE, as well as Colin Vincent from the UK STFC). Quite a few members of LSST Science Collaborations also attended: Eric Aubourg, Victor Debattista, Henry Ferguson, Suvi Gezari, Bhuvnesh Jain, Marc Moniez, Samaya Nissanke, Reynald Pain, Branimir Sesar, Ohad Shemmer and Lucianne Walkowicz.

LSST Europe Group Photo

Group photo of the LSST@Europe participants

The meeting provided an opportunity to review the current status of the LSST and the key science programs which are underpinning its development. The list of all talks, and for most talks links to slides, is available from the meeting website.

The topics ranged from studies of our Solar System and the Milky Way, to the Universe at the largest scales. Highlighting but a few, Mikael Granvik presented a novel application of LSST data: a search for Earth’s temporary natural satellites, and Bhuvnesh Jain summarized theoretical cosmological considerations about how to go beyond dark energy. The conference also included a number of presentations that identified current science challenges where a combination of LSST and leading new European facilities and expertise will result in major leaps in understanding. Timo Prusti conveyed the excitement about upcoming Gaia launch, Yannick Mellier talked about synergies between LSST and Euclid, and Kirpal Nandra introduced eROSITA mission. We had a very good discussion session which, in addition to covering synergies between LSST and Gaia, Euclid and other European surveys, also explored how to maximize the science impact of LSST through networking and research training.

Overall, the atmosphere was one of excitement, with our European colleagues clearly showing strong interest in LSST.

Article written by Zeljko Ivezic, LSST Project Scientist


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; 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; 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 Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; University of Washington; Vanderbilt and Fisk Universities

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