Tuesday 11 December
13:15 - 14:00
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is poised to revolutionize survey astronomy, repeatedly mapping huge sky areas to an unprecedented faint flux limit and yielding a rich dataset with which to probe the physical underpinning of the cosmological model. It will extend time-space volume a thousand times over current surveys, cataloguing 40 billion stars and galaxies. It will also signal 10 million alerts of time-varying phenomena every night, pinpointing violent processes shaping the chemical evolution of the universe. The LSST project will yield both a stacked sky survey of great depth, and the ability to find moving, variable, and transient objects, probing timescales new to astronomy. LSST will be a discovery machine for the electromagnetic counterparts of gravitational wave sources. A recently-awarded KAW research project grant will enable OKC researchers to use LSST to probe cosmological physics in three powerful and complementary directions, by: (1) building the largest, most detailed map of the dark matter distribution in the universe; (2) quantifying and characterizing the recently-discovered population of ultra-faint galaxies currently unexplained by models of galaxy formation within LCDM; (3) precisely charting the expansion history of the universe over the entire epoch of dark energy domination. I will introduce LSST and outline our scientific plans for the project.