LSST Dark Matter Science

I an interested to know if there will be enough participants at the conference interested in what dark matter science can be accomplished with LSST to motivate such a session. @kadrlica, @Tony (I think this is Tony Tyson’s username) and I will be hosing an LSST sponsored workshop late 2017/early 2018 specifically on the topic of dark matter science with LSST, however I think it would be good to have a dark matter session at the all hands meeting to drum up broader community involvement. We recently had a Dark Energy Science Collaboration hack focused on dark matter science with LSST and came up with a wide range of probes (see, or for those without access here is a summary table).

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I would be interested in such a discussion at LSST2017. I presume that we could pull in folks from the Stars, Milky Way, Local Volume Science Collaboration (?; @jgizis, @jbochanski?) and identify common interests/efforts between DESC/SMWLV collaborations (I can imagine a few from the table you linked above). If it doesn’t happen at LSST2017, I would definitely be interested in the later workshop.

This is a very good idea. The Galaxies collaboration should be interested also.

@wadawson From afar - I noticed that interesting work being done at the recent DESC Hack Week. Do you have a suggested format for a possible suggested session at LSST2017? A couple of back-to-back hack sessions on the topic, seeded by brief opening presentations? As you say, I think there are some folks not in the DESC who would be interested in joining the effort. @kadrlica what do you think?

This suggestion is also related to a workshop being held at NOAO in October on dwarf galaxies @knutago - some good groundwork could be laid in advance of that meeting.

Who might be tagged to design and run this session. Any volunteers? Would be great to have one or more people who were at that DESC hack week.

[I tried to also tag Keith and Ting, but I don’t think they are on Community :slight_smile: ]

I’m not sure if I will be able to make it to LSST2017, but I think a dark matter session would be a great idea! I’m sure there are people both inside and outside of DESC who would be interested in this topic. From the SMWLV group, we might also want to get in touch with Marla Geha and Carl Grillmair as conveners of the near-field cosmology group (I didn’t find them on Community…). I also know that @yymao is interested in this topic.

I very much like the idea of hack sessions on this topic. To bring in another thought, I was very impressed by the program that @lmwalkowicz and @adamamiller put together for the LSST Data Science Fellowship Program, and think there are lots of lessons/tools in there that would be valuable to this topic and the hacking community in general. So I found myself wishing for a session title something like “Highlights from the LSST DSFP” followed by one or more hack sessions.

Against my better judgement I could be coerced into organizing such a session, assuming there are enough volunteer co-organisers from the various LSST science collaborations.

@knutago, this sounds very interesting. Are there any links to the relevant products from the LSST Data Science Fellowship Program you can share so we can peruse?

Yes indeed, should have included this:

Please help organize this session, especially by:

  • Volunteering to help organize this session, in particular if you can serve as a representative for your science collaboration
  • Suggesting or volunteering a short talk
  • Suggesting discussion topics

Since we are ~two weeks out I would like to start organizing this session in a bit more detail. I am currently thinking that it makes sense to open with some talks about dark matter science that the community is planning on doing with LSST, and then have a period of open community discussion.

I am happy to give an introductory overview talk of the dark matter science that can be accomplished with LSST and various probes identified at previous workshops, however it would be great to have a representative from each of the LSST science collaborations talk about what dark matter probes they are, or plan to, pursue. I would also especially like to hear from anyone who may not be represented by a specific science collaboration.

In addition to opening talks I would like to spend about half of our 1.5 hour slot on open community discussion. Some possible subjects for discussion include:

  • Are there any probes not currently identified.
  • How should the dark matter effort be organized? For example, should it be rolled into the Dark Energy Science Collaboration, its own collaboration, or just a loose network.
  • Identify areas of complementarity between various dark matter probes and other existing/planned LSST efforts.
  • Identify possible means of support
  • etc.

Please reply to this discussion or shot me an email at


I am looking for a scribe for the dark matter session next week. I am sure your effort will be rewarded with fame and fortune! Please let me know if you are available.

Within the SN group, @reneehlozek and I are interested is understanding how supernovae in LSST may be used for novel scientific purposes in conjunction with other groups. One of the ideas that have been thrown around is that SN/or even novae going off in dwarfs maybe easier to detect than the dwarfs themselves, and the indication of location of dwarfs might enable one to throw additional resources into following up a small area of the sky thereby detecting dim dwarfs at higher distances. Obviously, this is an idea which has its share of complications (rates in dwarfs, false positives, etc.) but we are trying to start up this discussion with people interested in DM to understand if this is considered useful enough to think about by them (for example we have had conversations with @kadrlica and @jeffcarlin).

@wadawson I am not sure that this is the right venue (and perhaps I should make an issue in the github repository you listed instead), but maybe this should also be added to your summary table (or if folks have thought about this and figured out that it is too problematic, it would be good for us to know and take this off a list of possible projects to think about.)


Thank you. I hadn’t considered this before. I’ve added the idea to today’s presentation.

It would be great if you could create and issue to have it added to the table, or feel free to edit yourself and push the changes.

Thanks! Issue #8 created on the github!