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Preparing for the Flood: Transient and Variable Star Science in the Era of LSST

by Carolyn Hunsinger last modified May 17, 2013

Preparing for the Flood: Transient and Variable Star Science in the Era of LSST

Lucianne Walkowicz

Over the next decade, LSST's time resolution and high etendue will revolutionize studies of a wide variety of astrophysical phenomena, in particular transients and variable stars. LSST will open a new window onto time-variable objects both familiar and exotic, from known types of variables in the local universe, to rare and faint transients at cosmological distances. Time domain astronomy spans a wide range of
scientific interests, which are united in the need to identify, group and prioritize sources based on their characteristics including timescales, astrophysical context, and frequency in time and space. In light of the deluge of nightly alerts expected from LSST, studies of transients and variables in a multiwaveband context are especially interesting for rapid characterization and eventual understanding of time variable phenomena, both in terms of bringing cross-matched extant datasets to bear in characterizing time variable events, and towards future co-observing with facilities in wavebands beyond the LSST filter set. In this talk I will highlight transient and variable star science with LSST, as well as work within the LSST Transients and Variable Stars science collaboration, which seeks to understand how survey design choices impact LSST time domain science, and to provide feedback to maximize the effectiveness of LSST as a resource to the astronomical community.