8 February 2015 The Palomar transient factory
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Astrophysics is transforming from a data-starved to a data-swamped discipline, fundamentally changing the nature of scientific inquiry and discovery. New technologies are enabling the detection, transmission, and storage of data of hitherto unimaginable quantity and quality across the electromagnetic, gravity and particle spectra. The observational data obtained during this decade alone will supersede everything accumulated over the preceding four thousand years of astronomy. Currently there are 4 large-scale photometric and spectroscopic surveys underway, each generating and/or utilizing hundreds of terabytes of data per year. Some will focus on the static universe while others will greatly expand our knowledge of transient phenomena. Maximizing the science from these programs requires integrating the processing pipeline with high-performance computing resources. These are coupled to large astrophysics databases while making use of machine learning algorithms with near real-time turnaround. Here we present an overview of one of these programs, the Palomar Transient Factory (PTF). We will cover the processing and discovery pipeline we developed at LBNL and NERSC for it and several of the great discoveries made during the 4 years of observations with PTF.
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Peter Nugent, Peter Nugent, Yi Cao, Yi Cao, Mansi Kasliwal, Mansi Kasliwal, "The Palomar transient factory", Proc. SPIE 9397, Visualization and Data Analysis 2015, 939702 (8 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2085383; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2085383


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