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LSST: Ushering in the Era of Petascale Optical Astronomy

Monday, February 16, 2015
12:00 AM
340 West Hall

About the Presenter: Mario Juric is a Washington Research Foundation Data Science Professor of Astronomy at the Department of Astronomy of the University of Washington, and a Senior Data Science Fellow of the University of Washington eScience Institute. He is also the Data Management Project Scientist for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. He holds a Ph.D. in Astrophysical Sciences from Princeton University; was a postdoctoral member at the Institute for Advanced Study; served as a Hubble Fellow at Harvard University; and was an associate scientist at LSST/AURA.

About the Presentation: The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST; is a planned, large-aperture, wide-field, ground-based telescope that will survey half the sky every few nights in six optical bands from 320 to 1050 nm. It will explore a wide range of astrophysical questions, ranging from discovering “killer” asteroids, to examining the nature of dark energy.

The LSST will produce on average 15 terabytes of data per night, yielding an (uncompressed) data set of over 100 petabytes at the end of its 10-year mission. Dedicated HPC facilities will process the image data in near real time, with full-dataset reprocessings on annual scale. A sophisticated data management system will enable database queries from individual users, as well as computationally intensive scientific investigations that utilize the entire data set.

In this talk, Juric will review the science case for LSST and what LSST will deliver once operational. He will focus on the data products and management system, highlighting a number of differences and novel approaches compared to previous surveys including extensive use of simulations. More generally, Juric will discuss implications of petascale data sets for astronomy in the 2020s and ways in which the community can prepare to make the best use of them.


Mario Juric (University of Washington)