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Simulated LSST Survey of RR Lyrae Stars throughout the Local Group

Oluseyi, Hakeem M. and Becker, Andrew C. and Culliton, Christopher and Furqan, Muhammad and Hoadley, Keri L. and Regencia, Paul and Wells, Akeem J. and Ivezić, Željko and Jones, R. Lynne and Krughoff, K. Simon and Sesar, Branimir and Jacoby, Suzanne and Allison, Idatonye J. (2012) Simulated LSST Survey of RR Lyrae Stars throughout the Local Group. Astronomical Journal, 144 (1). Art. No. 9. ISSN 0004-6256.

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We report on a study to determine the efficiency of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) to recover the periods, brightnesses, and shapes of RR Lyrae stars' light curves in the volume extending to heliocentric distances of 1.5 Mpc. We place the smoothed light curves of 30 type ab and 10 type c RR Lyrae stars in 1007 fields across the sky, each of which represents a different realization of the LSST sampling cadences, and that sample five particular observing modes. A light curve simulation tool was used to sample the idealized RR Lyrae stars' light curves, returning each as it would have been observed by LSST, including realistic photometric scatter, limiting magnitudes, and telescope downtime. We report here the period, brightness, and light curve shape recovery as a function of apparent magnitude and for survey lengths varying from 1 to 10 years. We find that 10 years of LSST data are sufficient to recover the pulsation periods with a fractional precision of ~10^(–5) for ≥90% of ab stars within ≈360 kpc of the Sun in Universal Cadence fields and out to ≈760 kpc for Deep Drilling fields. The 50% completeness level extends to ≈600 kpc and ≈1.0 Mpc for the same fields, respectively. For virtually all stars that had their periods recovered, their light curve shape parameter φ_31 was recovered with sufficient precision to also recover photometric metallicities to within 0.14 dex (the systematic error in the photometric relations). With RR Lyrae stars' periods and metallicities well measured to these distances, LSST will be able to search for halo streams and dwarf satellite galaxies over half of the Local Group, informing galaxy formation models and providing essential data for mapping the Galactic potential. This study also informs the LSST science operations plan for optimizing observing strategies to achieve particular science goals. We additionally present a new [Fe/H]-φ_31 photometric relation in the r band and a new and generally useful metric for defining period recovery for time domain surveys.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Hoadley, Keri L.0000-0002-8636-3309
Krughoff, K. Simon0000-0002-4410-7868
Sesar, Branimir0000-0002-0834-3978
Additional Information:© 2012 American Astronomical Society. Received 2011 March 27; accepted 2012 April 13; published 2012 June 7. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under Scientific Program Order No. 9 (AST-0551161) through Cooperative Agreement AST-0132798. We also thank the Office of Educational Programs at Brookhaven National Laboratory with LSST Educational Outreach Programs for their support. We used the “Athena” compute cluster at the University of Washington for much of the light curve phasing and Fourier decomposition. The authors thank the referee for very insightful comments that have improved the quality of the paper.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Brookhaven National LaboratoryUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:halo; Galaxy: structure; methods: data analysis; stars: variables: RR Lyrae
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20120713-130509753
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Official Citation:Simulated LSST Survey of RR Lyrae Stars throughout the Local Group Hakeem M. Oluseyi et al. 2012 The Astronomical Journal 144 9
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:32430
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:13 Jul 2012 21:13
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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