Parametrization and classification of 20 billion LSST objects: Lessons from SDSS

Ž Ivezić, T. Axelrod, A. C. Becker, J. Becla, K. Borne, D. L. Burke, C. F. Claver, K. H. Cook, A. Connolly, D. K. Gilmore, R. L. Jones, M. Jurić, S. M. Kahn, K. T. Lim, R. H. Lupton, D. G. Monet, P. A. Pinto, B. Sesar, C. W. Stubbs, J. A. Tyson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will be a large, wide-field ground-based system designed to obtain, starting in 2015, multiple images of the sky that is visible from Cerro Pachon in Northern Chile. About 90% of the observing time will be devoted to a deep-wide-fast survey mode which will observe a 20,000 deg 2 region about 1000 times during the anticipated 10 years of operations (distributed over six bands, ugrizy). Each 30-second long visit will deliver 5σ depth for point sources of r ∼ 24.5 on average. The co-added map will be about 3 magnitudes deeper, and will include 10 billion galaxies and a similar number of stars. We discuss various measurements that will be automatically performed for these 20 billion sources, and how they can be used for classification and determination of source physical and other properties. We provide a few classification examples based on SDSS data, such as color classification of stars, color-spatial proximity search for wide-angle binary stars, orbital-color classification of asteroid families, and the recognition of main Galaxy components based on the distribution of stars in the position-metallicity-kinematics space. Guided by these examples, we anticipate that two grand classification challenges for LSST will be 1) rapid and robust classification of sources detected in difference images, and 2) simultaneous treatment of diverse astrometric and photometric time series measurements for an unprecedentedly large number of objects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)359-365
Number of pages7
JournalAIP Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
EventClassification and Discovery in Large Astronomical Surveys - Ringberg Castle, Germany
Duration: Oct 14 2008Oct 17 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • Asteroids
  • Methods: data analysis
  • Stars


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