Suggest a breakout session topic for the Rubin 2021 PCW

Hi all, the Science Organizing Committee welcomes suggested topics for breakout sessions during the Rubin 2021 Project and Community Workshop.

Please post your suggestions as a reply in this thread or start a New Topic in this category with the title “Suggested Breakout Session: <Your Idea Here>”. If you’re interested in chairing the session yourself, please indicate that! The SOC will be in touch.

For inspiration, take a look at the 2020 or 2019 agendas and/or consider:
What would you like to learn about Rubin Observatory and the Legacy Survey of Space and Time?
What Rubin- or LSST-related science have you been working on and would like to discuss?

The website and registration portal for the Rubin 2021 PCW will soon be available. The workshop will run Aug 9-13, be virtual, have no registration fee, and (like every year) be open to everyone. Use the bell button at upper right on this forum page in order to “watch” the Rubin 2021 PCW forum category and receive notifications about new PCW-related posts.

I would like to propose a session dedicated to helping the SCs prepare to be recipients of in-kind contributions. Specifically, I think it would be extremely helpful to offer training for astronomers who will be participating in development projects for software (or hardware) to learn about the engineering process for defining and specifying requirements, project management and evaluating whether requirements have been met. This should be offered to everyone involved - both the SCs who will receive the contributions and the international teams who will be involved in the development.

I think the PCW is the ideal opportunity to hold such a training, leveraging the engineering expertise that Rubin already has.


Melissa, we will need a 2-hour session to present the draft recommendation for the initial survey observing strategy by the Survey Cadence Optimization Committee ( A morning slot is strongly preferred because a number of SCOC members are in Europe. If other details are needed, please send me direct email.

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We as Co-Chairs of the Galaxies SC Low Surface Brightness Working Group [Sarah Brough and Aaron Watkins] and our DM representative [Lee Kelvin] would like to propose organising a breakout session on low surface brightness astronomy with LSST. This is an important regime, holding much of LSST’s discovery space, and is a key area of current research that will be uniquely expanded upon by LSST’s combination of depth and area. For instance, galaxy clusters contain vast numbers of stars in diffuse light between the galaxies, which account for a significant fraction of the cluster mass. The definitive LSST sample can capture enough of these systems to quantify the amount and spatial extent of this intra-cluster light in a more systematic fashion across, cosmic time, than ever previously possible. We will be able to characterize the stellar halos that surround nearby galaxies and unveil structures therein, such as tidal features and density inhomogeneities produced by galaxy mergers and interactions. These features, which are signposts of the hierarchical formation processes, will provide critical clues to the formation history on a galaxy-by-galaxy basis. LSST will also enable the most complete census of dwarf galaxies at cosmological distances (which dominate the galaxy number density) and of low surface or ultra-diffuse galaxies to date. As well as the study of Galactic stellar streams, diffuse extended Galactic emission, low surface brightness satellites of the Milky Way, and optical properties of Galactic cirrus or emission line regions like PNe or SN remnants.

In order to best detect and analyse the low surface brightness light in LSST images there are a number of key preparatory tasks we need to undertake due to the importance of background subtraction in preserving this light. With LSST commissioning just around the corner and much effort underway, this is the ideal time to discuss the efforts made towards these preparatory tasks and discuss strategies adopted on common problems, to ensure that we are prepared for when data arrives. With low surface brightness science already being done with precursor surveys, the session will also include presentations on recent scientific results.

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A session/discussion session on ‘Alert Generation in Year 1 Operations’ would be helpful . Given funding opportunities to support Year 1 time domain analysis and large observing telescope proposals can be applied for in the coming months to year, it would be helpful to learn about the possibilities of the alert generation in Year 1 and the operations timeline for making a decision about Year 1 templates.

I think someone from Operations/DM would be better to run this session, but I would be happy to help organize if help is needed.

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A session on Cadence Notes will be helpful for SMWLV/TVS SCs. It would be useful to schedule this session after any update from the SCOC.

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