Event Date and Time
Steven Ritz, University of California, Santa Cruz
The combination of wide field of view, high sensitivity, broad energy range, and agility offers huge scientific opportunities and new ways of operating. I’ll discuss two seemingly very different observatories that share these characteristics. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), currently under construction, is an integrated survey system with an eight-meter class primary mirror and 3 gigapixel camera, designed to conduct a decade-long, deep, wide, fast time-domain survey of the optical sky from Cerro Pachón in central Chile. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, launched into low-earth orbit in 2008, observes the whole sky every three hours at energies that are millions to trillions of times larger, using a huge array of particle detectors. The variety of objects these wonderful facilities can study spans from as close as our own planet to cosmological distances, and scientific topics include understanding the nature of the mysterious dark matter and dark energy. Large, rich data sets (LSST will produce an estimated 20TB of data per night) and diverse community needs pose important challenges and opportunities for software development that will also be discussed.