Preparing time domain astronomy in the era of LSST

The European Southern Observatory (ESO) recently organized a very interesting workshop to bring together the various groups working on time domain astronomy and especially on the preparation of the Vera Rubin Observatory/LSST by NSF’s NOIRLab. Starting 2025, LSST will detect millions of new transient phenomena every night and we discussed how to deal with this flood of data. Dedicated brokers are using various, often AI based, methods to classify and filter the incoming alerts in realtime. The wide range of telescopes and instruments at ESO will then be crucial to obtain detailed follow-up observations, spectra, etc. To take full advantage of the transients detected by LSST, all of these systems need to work together seemlessly and thus require significant preparations.

The workshop provided a very complete overview of the wide range of science cases including studies of solar system objects, as well as Galactic and Extragalactic sources. Many of them require the combination of observations from various wavelegnths and/or multiple cosmic messengers. The existing systems and brokers were showcased and we discussed further work and missing pieces.

Astro-COLIBRI was highlighted in a plenary presentation in which we were able to outlined our vision for the future of time domain astrophysics: using modern tools like smartphone apps, cloud-computing platforms, realtime databases, but also LLMs and GPTs will enable astronomers to take full advantage of the coming flood of information. Our tools are already helping in the decision making process at major observtories and facilitate observations. In addition to a lot of very positive feedback we could also collect a lot of interesting ideas that will allow us to push our platfrom even further.

All talks are publicly available on a dedicated YouTube channel:

The slides are being made available on the zenodo platform: Search What Was That? – Planning ESO Follow up for Transients, Variables, and Solar System Objects In the Era of LSST

And the full program of the workshop is available here: ESO - LSST