NOAO >   Observing Info >   Approved Programs >   2013A-0400

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Proposal Information for 2013A-0400


PI: Joshua Bloom, UC Berkeley, profjsb@gmail.com
Address: Astronomy Department, 601 Campbell Hall, Berkeley, California 94720, United States

CoI: Tom Matheson, NOAO
CoI: Steve Ridgway, NOAO
CoI: Adam Miller, UC Berkeley
CoI: Christopher Klein, UC Berkeley
CoI: Lucianne Walkowicz, Princeton
CoI: Peter Nugent, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
CoI: Isaac Shivvers, UC Berkeley
CoI: Chris Smith, NOAO
CoI: Knut Olsen, NOAO
CoI: Andrew Becker, U Washington
CoI: Dara Norman, NOAO
CoI: Rob Simcoe, MIT
CoI: Hakeem Oluseyi, Florida Institute of Technology
CoI: Susan Ridgway, NOAO
CoI: Abi Saha, NOAO
CoI: Joey Richards, UC Berkeley
CoI: S. Bradley Cenko, UC Berkeley
CoI: Tod R. Lauer, NOAO

Title: A Pilot DECam Time-Domain Survey

Abstract: We propose a \SSIZE sq. degree time-domain imaging survey, in z and Y-bands, focused on discovery and characterization of short timescale (< 2 day) Galactic variables. The systematic discovery and classification of sources across the variable star taxonomy at 3 different Galactic latitudes would be highly complementary to existing efforts (generally blue-focused, over longer timescales, and extragalactic oriented) and would directly impact the planning and scheduling of LSST. We estimate that there are 3\times10^5 variables at >0.05 mag rms at the single-epoch limiting depth of the proposed survey. With an areal coverage more than \SDSSREL times that of SDSS/Stripe 82 and a depth 10 times fainter per epoch, the proposed DECam survey should uncover more than 1000 RR Lyrae and, through their 3- d clustering, could reveal new galactic halo substructure in the Southern sky out to 100 kpc. The resultant variability and probabilistic (machine-learned) classification catalogs of sources found this semester will be made public; rarities and novel sources would be prime candidates for community follow-up in subsequent semesters. We see the proposed survey as establishing a new concept of ``variability fields'' (akin to extragalactic fields such as COSMOS) in the Southern hemisphere: these may be well-studied for years at a variety of timescales across the electromagnetic spectrum. \it Though highly ranked for 2012B, the approved observations are unlikely to occur given the scheduling constraints during shared risk time of 2012B.


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