AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 134. LSST
Oral, Thursday, January 9, 2003, 2:00-3:30pm, 6AB

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[134.01] The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: Opening New Windows

J. A. Tyson (Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies), LSST Collaboration

A large wide-field telescope and camera with optical throughput over 200 sq.m sq.deg -- a factor of 50 beyond what we currently have -- would enable the detection of faint moving or bursting optical objects: from Earth threatening asteroids to energetic events at the edge of the optical universe. An optimized design for LSST is a 8.4 m telescope with a 3 degree field of view and an optical throughput of 260 sq.m sq.deg. With its large throughput and dedicated all-sky monitoring mode, the LSST will reach 24th magnitude in a single 10 second exposure, opening unexplored regions of astronomical parameter space. The heart of the 2.3 Gpixel camera will be an array of imager modules with 10 micron pixels. Once each month LSST will survey up to 14,000 sq.deg of the sky with many ~10 second exposures. Over time LSST will survey 30,000 sq.deg deeply in multiple bandpasses, enabling innovative investigations ranging from galactic structure to cosmology. This is a shift in paradigm for optical astronomy: from "survey follow-up" to "survey direct science." The resulting real-time data products and fifteen petabyte time-tagged imaging database and photometric catalog will provide a unique resource. A collaboration of ~80 engineers and scientists is gearing up to confront this exciting challenge.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 34, #4
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