Letters of Intent received in 2020

LoI 2022-2133
Time-domain Astronomers: From Multi-Messanger Surveys to Research Community Building

Date: 6 June 2022 to 10 June 2022
Location: University of the Virgin Islands, United States
Contact: Cucchiara Antonino (acucchiara@marin.edu)
Coordinating division: Division B Facilities, Technologies and Data Science
Other divisions: Division D High Energy Phenomena and Fundamental Physics
Division G Stars and Stellar Physics
Co-Chairs of SOC: Antonino Cucchiara (College of Marin)
Rachel Street (Las Cumbres Observatory)
Mara Salvato (MPE)
David Buckley (South African Astronomical Observatory)
Sara Bonito (Astronomical Observatory Palermo)
Co-Chairs of LOC: David Morris (University of the Virgin Islands)
Dario Carbone (University of the Virgin Islands)
Federica Bianco (University of Delaware)
Chien-Hsiu Lee (NOIRLab)
Markus Rabus (Las Cumbres Observatory)

 

Topics

1) The past, present, and future of optical surveys
2) The Multi-messenger sky: coordination among multiple facilities (e.g. Rubin and Roman Space Telescope, Euclid, LIGO-VIRGO, eROSITA, WEAVE)
3) Peculiar transients: from explosive phenomena to Fast-radio bursts
4) Classical transients: from variable stars to star-forming region
5) Perspective on unknown transients
6) Data mining the next decade of multi-wavelength surveys
7) Coordination follow-up and associated technologies among different facilities (e.g. AEON, Brokers, TOM Toolkit)

 

Rationale

Time-domain Astronomy is one of the stronger driving forces behind 21st-century cosmic discoveries. The technological advancements that led to the unveiling of the first Black-hole binary mergers by the LIGO-VIRGO collaboration and the several optical and radio detections of fast transients (from Kilonovae to Fast radio bursts) by wide-field surveys, shattered the windows towards new, and inaccessible before, variables in the timescale-flux-wavelength parameter space.
The Rubin observatory will further play a significant role in exploiting such a playground, beginning with the commissioning phase in 2022-2023.
As other incoming sky surveys, this new era of scientific endeavors will not come without challenges: the large amount of data produced by such surveys also require a drastic leap forward in the computational capabilities of processing and discerning interesting and novel transients as well as the so much needed cross-wavelength and long-term monitoring of such events.
To this end, several groups worldwide, within and outside the Rubin collaboration, are developing new tools to quickly identify, triage, and classify objects of interest for the entire international astronomical community.
Clearly this is not a sprint, but a marathon that will bring great scientific discoveries over the next decades to come.
We propose an IAU symposium to be held in *the US Virgin Islands* to bring together time-domain scientists from different generational backgrounds to create a legacy. We will share exciting discoveries and past lessons learned in the field of time-domain astronomy. At the same time we will provide mentorship and guidance to the incoming generation in a context of a true worldwide, diverse, and inclusive astronomy culture.

Our 3-4 days will be subdivided in the following topics, leaving ample times for collaboration, mentoring and special sessions on Diversity and Inclusion.
The time of the symposium, Summer 2022, represents the ideal and exciting moment for time-domain astronomy, with several facilities being online or soon to be deployed, covering a large fraction of the timescale-frequency parameter space (e.g. Rubin Observatory, Roman Observatory, Euclid, SKA, and LIGO-VIRGO).

Finally, we will leverage on the experience of Rubin Transient and Variable Stars Science Collaboration and Justice, Diversity and Inclusion sub-committee, we will make sure that the symposium will be truly inclusive, inviting researchers from different backgrounds (e.g. race, gender identity, age, religious views, national origin).
In this spirit, we anticipate that the meeting will be held in person in the U.S. Virgin Islands at the University of the Virgin Islands, which is a Historical Black College and University and has established a strong physics/astronomy program benefiting its, largely Afro-carribean, student population.

A virtual component will be added to the conference program to enable broader participation among scientists across the Globe and to mitigate the effect of the pandemic, if it will still persist, or political climate. We will switch to a fully virtual format if situations like health concerns due to COVID19 pandemic will arise in order to guarantee attendees safety and still provide a successful meeting.