Wide Field 2011 Meeting Wiki

Tiger Team Discussion

The main purpose of this Wiki is to help record ideas for the tiger team discussion and white paper.

Meeting Purpose Statement

At the origin of the Conference is the recognition that the Astro 2010 Decadal Survey has strongly underlined the scientific relevance of very wide field surveys, giving the highest priority to WFIRST and LSST. These and other planned surveys will provide data of greater depth and sky coverage (>10,000 sq. degrees) than previous surveys, opening new parameter space for discovery. To exploit the new potential, photometric and spectroscopic follow-up will be essential. Time-domain astronomy will also expand into an even more prominent field of research. Comparable depth and coverage across large portions of the electromagnetic spectrum will also be necessary.
The workshop aims at addressing two key topics:
1) what science can be done by correlating current and future very wide area surveys;
2) what plans can be made for provide spectroscopic coverage.

Initial Thoughts

  1. Will new facilities be needed for spectroscopic follow-up in both cases
    - NOAO is working on predicting what the follow up capacity is likely to be in the future and assess to what extent new facilities might be needed
    - One suggestion was using spare fibers on spectroscopic surveys to cover transient "target-of-opportunity" sources a la HST parallels but this might not be efficient.

  2. Can smaller telescopes be dedicated to spectroscopic followup of transient sources?
    - Robotic observatories

  3. What are the relevant time scales for follow up?
    - LSST has a 60 s alert requirement but this may be overkill, especially if there is not enough instrument support to follow up on the events that quickly
    - Would be good to carefully consider some specific hypothetical cases

  4. Synergy between all projects. There are many optical imaging surveys underway or planned: how do we maximize the science from their overlap? This requires, among other things, making sure that we understand filter transformations from one to another, that magnitudes of galaxies are measured in consistent ways between surveys, that databases are mutually accessible, etc., etc.

Suggestions from Meeting Participants / Meeting Discussions

Feedback from first Panel discussion: What are the holes in the multi-wavelength coverage of wide field surveys? What are the areas of need?

Holes in the imaging coverage:
  • mm all sky (e.g. blind CO surveys)
  • u band: SDSS is fairly shallow only 1/4 sky
  • Ultraviolet: GALEX AIS is shallow and has lots of gaps particularly in FUV
  • Far infrared (to better resolution & depth than AKARI and IRAS)

Targets for JWST will be needed, especially GRBs (will there be a SWIFT like mission up?) and SNe found through a wide field infrared survey.
Data coordination and access
  • Presumably we will get data through VO interfaces, but will be VO be ready and up to the task?

Spectroscopic follow-up
  • Need for developing concrete plans for spectroscopic counterparts to the imaging surveys up to and including LSST
  • Matthew Colless noted high-res spectroscopy is a bit of a gap that HERMES on the AAT will (partially) fill
  • Integral field spectroscopy - galaxy dynamics. Perhaps we need a dedicated 8m

A coordinated approach for field selection, observing schedule, cadence is needed across surveys
  • GAMA is doing that
  • May be useful to coordinate timing of spectroscopic surveys relative to LSST

Detailed follow-up of transients
  • We can't do them all (Djorgovski's talk)
  • clever ways to minimize triage the sources that need detailed follow-up (Quimby and Walkowicz talks)

Targets for JWST, especially GRBs (will there be a SWIFT like mission up?) and SNae found through a wide field infrared survey.
  • detailed follow-up of transients
+ we can't do them all + Djorgovski's talk

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