November 17, 2016 - Project Scientist Zeljko Ivezic and Data Management team member Meredith Rawls, both astronomers at the University of Washington, along with David Ciardi, the science lead for LSST’s Science User Interface Team (SUIT) from IPAC, all participated in the 105th Meeting of the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO) in Boston, MA, November 10 – 12, 2016. The theme of this year’s meeting was The AAVSO's Role in the Age of Large Surveys and throughout the meeting, many presentations and discussions explored ways in which amateur astronomers could contribute their expertise to extend the science being done by surveys such as LSST, TESS, GMT, KELT, Kepler/K2, and Evryscope. Meredith gave a 15 minute talk titled “Big Software for Big Data: Scaling Up Photometry for LSST.” Meredith and David were both invited panelists for a discussion of the role of the AAVSO in the era of multi-wavelength, all-sky photometric surveys. Meredith observed that the panelists were largely saying "this is the data you can expect from us" while the audience was largely asking "what observations can we provide to further science alongside survey data?" While lots of good discussion took place, further thought is required on how to establish successful collaborations with AAVSO members on a large scale. Zeljko gave his 30 minute invited talk remotely on “The Impact of Large Optical Surveys on Stellar Astronomy and Variable Star Research”. Zeljko’s talk is available here; Meredith’s here.
Financial support for LSST comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded LSST Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA). The DOE-funded effort to build the LSST camera is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
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