The Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Transients and Variable (TVS) Stars Collaboration focuses on the study of the transient and variable sky through the LSST data, including a large and diverse range of phenomena: variable events, periodic or not, explosive and eruptive transients, and geometric transients (e.g. eclipsing binaries and planets). Variability is a tell tale of the nature of the objects observed, but it also enables galactic studies (the mapping of the galactic structure), extragalactic studies (the characterization of the intracluster medium), and cosmological studies. Because of their physical and phenomenological diversity, the object we study span a wide range of timescales and present themselves in a range of brightnesses and colors. We work to understand and maximize the potential of LSST in the exploration of the variable and transient sky, one of the 4 science drivers of LSST. LSST also holds great potential for discovery of new transient phenomena, especially at the very short and very long time scales.
The goal of the LSST TVS SC is to advance our understanding of the Universe through science and to create and sustain a research environment in which all members can thrive. Supporting an equitable space free of discrimination is first and foremost a matter of social justice. We recognize that academia is embedded within, and takes advantage of, systemic racism that perpetuate white supremacy and suppresses non-white voices and voices of diverse scholars along other axes or privilege. We, as an organization, renew our commitment to be proactive in order to fix and stop this “status quo” in our corner of the Universe. The TVS SC is inherently a multinational organization with members from a wide range of cultures and this diversity strengthens our research by bringing in different perspectives and expertise. We seek to enhance our diversity of membership and to create an educational and research culture that is welcoming and supportive for all members. We encourage people to apply and be an active part of TVS, regardless of their race, color, country of origin, sex, age, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability or veteran status. We have an ongoing commitment to a range of initiatives to make our organization more equitable and justice, undertaken with the guidance of the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) group of the TVS SC. More information on these activities can be found in our TVS call to action. The leadership of the TVS SC and JEDI are responsible for, and all members are empowered to, ensuring full support for these activities. Accountability metrics are explicitly included in the same document.
We are an international organization with members in 5 continents. Membership is currently dominated by US and Chilean members, since those communities have free access to the Rubin data and have been involved with the survey since its start, but many European members have also joined and we are working to break barriers and reach other communities - see our TVS call to action and contact us if you are interested in the Rubin LSST. Our collaboration is organized in 14 groups with common expertise and interests, that are delineating a roadmap to maximize the potential of the LSST survey in the discovery and characterization of the transient sky.