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Engineering and Technology Colloquia Series

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: Entering the Era of Petascale Optical Astronomy

Presented by: Mario Juric (The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope)
Category: Engineering Colloquia   Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes   Broadcast date: February 04, 2014
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The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST; http://lsst.org) 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, I will review what LSST will deliver once operational, discuss implications of LSST-sized data sets on astronomy in the 2020s, and argue that we as a community need to prepare in advance to make the best use of the upcoming petascale datasets.