Heidelberg Joint Astronomical Colloquium

Speaker Zeljko Ivezic
Title Reaching for the sky with SDSS and LSST

Despite a several thousand years long history, sky surveying is experiencing a bonanza as detectors, telescopes and computers become ever more powerful. I will discuss how the unprecedentedly accurate and diverse data from the optical Sloan Digital Sky Survey have recently enabled numerous exciting discoveries. I will use three specific examples (asteroids, quasar variability, and mapping of the Milky Way stars) to give a preview of what to expect from the upcoming next-generation surveys, such as the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). I will also describe the LSST potential for studying the properties of dark matter and dark energy, and a few challenges that future users of this several hundred petabyte large dataset will face.