Milky Way and Microlensing Science Breakout Session

I’d like to propose a breakout session to discuss Deep Drilling Field and/or a minisurvey of the Galactic Plane and Bulge region.

The motivation is to maximize the LSST science return for topics which depend on observations of these regions in particular, including (but not limited to):

  • microlensing
  • galactic structure and ISM
  • variable stars

The overall goal of the session is to form a working team around the proposal to write a White Paper by the end of 2017. In addition to outlining the science motivations for this paper, we will form groups to conduct simulations and develop improved metrics in order to evaluate alternative DDF/minisurvey designs with respect to the science goals, and explore synergies with complementary and contemporaneous surveys such as WFIRST and Gaia.

The agenda for the breakout session will be lightly structured, including selected relevant presentations for background and to stimulate extended discussions.

Remote participation possible: I can bring teleconference facilities suitable for a reasonably-sized room.


I second this recommendation! It would be good to provide participants with a goal for what they will do after the meeting. For example, perhaps participants should expect to leave the meeting with the task of implementing new figure of merit X for microlensing science, say.

I enthusiastically support Rache’s proposal. It will enhance ongoing plans to use LSST data for microlensing studies, while at the same time forming cross-disciplinary collaborations. I also like Will’s idea of identifying the useful steps forward and planning “to do” lists, to make the meeting productive in the long term.

I’m definitely in favour. We’re working to produce a basic primer and introduction to the MAF for people to read, interact with and improve prior to the session.

I am happy to participate and discuss issues related to microlensing searches for exotic objects like string loops.

Count me in on such a session. I think it is a great idea. (One a somewhat related note I am giving a talk later this month at the Astronomy in the 2020’s: Synergies with WFIRST where I plan to discuss some of the motivation for combined LSST and WFIRST microlensing survey.)

Glad this session got a slot at LSST2017.

The Gaia data release schedule has been firmed up recently - see

  • with Gaia DR2 (Apr 2018), Gaia DR3 (mid to late 2020 and Gaia DR4 (late 2022). Gaia DR4 will be a complete release including epoch photometry for the entire nominal mission data set (so Jul 2014 to Jul 2019). Mission extension is currently being considered, so there will likely be further releases after 2022. I can say a bit more on this at the MW breakout this afternoon (Tues 15 Aug).

Please do raise this during the session this afternoon, Nicholas.