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Vera C. Rubin Observatory: Open Science to the core

Presentation #116.04 in the session Making the Future Brighter for Astronomy.

Published onJul 01, 2023
Vera C. Rubin Observatory: Open Science to the core

Rubin Observatory has made open science a core value of its mission since the beginning of construction and will continue to do so throughout the full 10 years of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). We believe that open science is only meaningful if it is supported by well-documented open-source reusable software; our more than 1.5 million lines of code are all publicly accessible on github. But open source is not sufficient; we need to lower barriers to doing science especially for under-resourced and under-represented communities. The Rubin Science Platform (RSP) (LSE-319) democratises access to LSST data products by providing the same level of ease and power to any user anywhere with an internet connection. Rubin Data Previews (RTN-011), early shared-risk previews of the LSST data products and services, are hosted on Google and supported by the Community Science Team’s tutorials and hack sessions. Data Preview 0 has already demonstrated the potential of the RSP for rapidly performing scientific analyses for anyone in the community. The algorithms within our processing software are also discussed with and in some cases contributed to by community members.

In addition to open source software and a compute platform, the third leg of our “open science support tripod” is documentation. We consider accessible and complete documentation for code and data products as essential for lowering barriers to participation, and continue to push towards this goal. There are many further challenges to open science such as interoperability. We continue to work with IVOA on standardisation and are committed to our “VO First” approach. We build on the existing standards that enable interoperability; however, we acknowledge that they may not scale to Rubin data volumes and are discussing what to do about that. Our pioneering cloud based solution may also help with interoperability - having all datasets in one place is hard, having them all on one cloud may be possible.

We have identified and tackled some of the open science issues and are sure to encounter more on our ten year journey making the Legacy Survey of Space and Time.

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