Data Preview 0: An early opportunity to prepare for science with Rubin Observatory

Update: The application form for DP0 participation is open until Apr 30 2021.

In 2021, the Rubin Observatory will release Data Preview 0 (DP0), the first of three data previews during the period leading up to the start of Rubin Operations. DP0 will make simulated LSST-like data products available in the Rubin Science Platform (RSP) to Rubin Observatory staff and up to 300 individuals from the science community (“DP0 delegates”, who are data rights holders as defined below). The goals of DP0 are to serve as an early integration test of, and provide operations team training with, the LSST science pipelines and the RSP, and to enable the community to prepare for early science with LSST. Future data previews DP1 and DP2 will be based on commissioning data.

To learn more about DP0, please continue to read through this topic post and consider joining one of several information sessions about participating in DP0 in January and February 2021. The following is an overview of the Guidelines for Community Participation in DP0 (RTN-004) document.

DP0 Simulated Data – The dataset adopted for DP0 is the simulated data generated by the Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) for their Data Challenge 2 (DC2). As such, it primarily contains extragalactic and Galactic objects, and some time-domain objects such as Type Ia supernovae, AGN, and variable stars, but does not contain Solar System objects. The DC2 contents are summarized in this topic about the DP0 data set and described in full by “The LSST DESC DC2 Simulated Sky Survey”.

DP0 Delegates – The term “DP0 delegate” has been adopted to reflect participants’ important roles of representing the broad science community as learners, testers, and providers of feedback, and of sharing the benefits of their DP0 participation with their communities as teachers and colleagues. The only prerequisite for participation in DP0 is to have Rubin Observatory data rights. All astronomers working in the US and Chile, and named individuals of International Contributor teams, have data rights. The application and selection process will prioritize representation from the full range of diversity in the astronomical community (as described in RTN-004), including students and novice perspectives. Delegates’ DP0 activities will be supported with resources and infrastructure (e.g., tutorials, seminars, communication channels, networking opportunities), and they will be free to pursue their own science with DC2 in the RSP at their own pace (i.e., there is no minimum time requirement or start date).

DP0 Timeline – DP0 has two stages. For DP0.1, the simulated data processed by the DESC using the LSST Science Pipelines will be available by June 30 2021. For DP0.2, the simulated data reprocessed by Rubin Observatory using a more recent version of the LSST Science Pipelines will be available by March 31 2022. All data will be served in a format that resembles the future LSST data releases. Please see this topic for more information about the DP0.1 and DP0.2 data products. The application form for DP0 delegates will open in early March 2021 and all those who submit by April 30 will receive notification by May 31. If applications are undersubscribed, reviews to identify delegates will continue. Delegates may begin their DP0 activities at any time after notification. The entire duration of DP0 is long, >1 year. In order to accommodate individuals with reduced availability to participate in the second half of 2021, ~25% of the accounts will be allocated after a second call for DP0 delegates in early 2022.

Questions about DP0? Please feel free to post your questions about participating in DP0 as replies in this thread, or as new topics in the Science category. Please also see the topics about this topic about the DP0 data set and this invitation to join an Info Session about DP0, and feel free to post questions in those threads as well.

Why 300 Delegates? For reference, 300 RSP accounts for community participants marks an almost order of magnitude increase in the number of community accounts in the current instance of the RSP (i.e., the Stack Club). The number of RSP accounts remains constrained for DP0 due to the Rubin pre-operations team’s limited scope in providing support for data software and services that are still in development. An order of magnitude increase represents a safe and sustainable scaling up of the Data Management System at the Interim Data Facility. This number will increase for future data previews, which will be based on commissioning data, until at least by the start of Rubin Observatory Operations all data rights holders may have RSP accounts.

What are Rubin Observatory data rights? As described in the Data Policy (RDO-013), astronomers working in the US and Chile have Rubin Observatory data rights (including students), as do named individuals on International Contributor teams (“international members”; see below). The term “data rights” refers to the right to access, analyze, and publish results based on the proprietary data products and services. Only individuals with data rights may have Rubin Science Platform accounts, which is why DP0 delegates must be data rights holders.

International members outside the US and Chile have data rights either through an agreement between their local agency or institution and NSF, DOE, AURA, SLAC or the LSST Project, or an in-kind proposal that has been approved by the US agencies for development into a data rights agreement. Rubin Observatory will be able to verify an applicant’s data rights status via their name, institution, and/or in-kind proposal program manager. Applications from individuals associated with in-kind proposals that are still in the approval process at the DP0.1 due date are welcome.

Resources for further information.
Guidelines for Community Participation in DP0 (RTN-004)
“The LSST DESC DC2 Simulated Sky Survey”, arXiv:2010.05926
The Rubin Science Platform Vision Document
Rubin Observatory Data Policy (RDO-013)


Sorry for this very late reply. I read that the only prerequisite for participation in DP0 is to have Rubin Observatory data rights. This prerequisite would exclude the participation of a large international community, unless a final decision on the in-kind contributions would be made by the opening of the application. I also read that a number of named individuals of International Contributor teams can be eligible for the application. The question is: when the application will be opened, how can a non-US or Chilean astronomer know if it is possible to apply for? Thanks for your attention

Hi @dallora, thanks for your question. The call for applications and the submission form itself will make this clear, but: members of international teams with in-kind contributions that are still in the proposal stage are welcome and encouraged to submit an application to be a DP0 delegate.

1 Like

Hi @MelissaGraham,
Do you know whether DP0 will also include microlensing events?

Hi @ytsapras, I think that in the DESC’s DC2 data set, some of the simulated stellar variability is due to microlensing events, yes. I’m getting this from Section 5.3 of the DESC’s DC2 simulation paper which references microlensing as one of the sources of non-periodic variability for simulated Milky Way stars.