PhD Defense: Troy Raen
Towards the Study of Stars with LSST
Abstract: The Rubin Observatory's upcoming Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will revolutionize astronomy by revealing massive numbers of stars. Its nightly "alert" stream will be dominated by the dynamic life events of ~7 million variable stars — caught in the act of flickering, pulsating, and erupting — and it will broadcast the spectacular deaths in supernova explosions of another ~0.2 million stars. Its final catalog will contain ~17 billion resolved stars, active and quiescent. These unprecedented sample sizes will both enable wide-ranging population studies and contain fleeting, exotic phenomena for which follow-up observations will need to be triggered rapidly. I will discuss my work on two contributions towards the study of these stars. First, we modeled the capture of asymmetric dark matter (ADM) by stars via scattering events, and the energy transport that ensues. We show that ADM can significantly alter a star's structure and evolution, with potentially observable effects on the isochrones of star clusters. Next, we are developing an alert broker to serve the community by ingesting LSST's torrential stream, adding scientific value (e.g., classifications) to large numbers of diverse sources, and serving the data through mechanisms that enable broad public access and fast analysis.
Location and Address
321 Allen Hall