Stripe 82, day one

Today was the first day of the Stripe 82 meeting in Princeton. I went down for most of the day. Many great things happened at the meeting; this is just a spotty scan of things that I saw in the time I was around:

Richards (Drexel) gave an impressive overview of all the data sets that overlap the SDSS Stripe 82 area. There are four or five significant data sets in every general bandpass, like x-ray or radio or mid-infrared. It is pretty impressive. Richards emphasized the need for ways to represent and visualize the mutual coverage and the relationships among bands. Astronomers have not solved this problem yet.

Hernitshek (MPIA) showed that she can reverberation-map a quasar using just Stripe 82 photometry and a single SDSS spectrum. She gets black-hole masses that track but are larger than the standard (Kaspi 2000) spectroscopic values.

McGreer (Arizona) showed nice results on the redshift-five quasar luminosity function, leveraging spectroscopy with imaging. Richards shouted from the audience that the (substantial) differences between McGreer et al and Richards et al is resolved simply: Just ignore the older Richards et al results!

Tucker (FNAL) made an appeal to figure out photometric calibration issues in the Stripe. It is effectively the calibration standard for many surveys, so we better get it right. There are some issues in comparison with DES and PanSTARRS.

Sako (Penn) gave a beautiful talk about SDSS-II supernovae. He emphasized that the first year of any time-domain survey is a year filled with false alarms and prodigious alerts, most of which turn out to be uninteresting kinds of variable stars. (Or perhaps interesting, depending on your perspective.) If you want to have clean, manageable samples of supernovae, you need to get your variable catalogs under control. That takes time! This has implications for DES and LSST.

Gronwall (PSU) reviewed the design and plans for HETDEX. This project is insane! And I mean that in the best possible way. They are going to do so much science that is not on their short list of primary survey objectives. Can't wait.


  1. I just realized that K2's Field 3 is almost overlapping (but not quite) with Stripe 82. Time for some community advocacy!

    (Also Field 8 is right on top of Stripe 82, if we get that far.)

  2. Thanks for this recap, David. I'd planned to go, but other duties called, so it's great to get a glimpse of what I'm missing.