LSST TVS SC Subgroup: Microlensing

Topic: LSST Microlensing

LSST will probe to sufficiently faint magnitudes across such a large area of sky that it will be capable of systematically detecting microlensing events across the whole Southern Sky, and alert on events while in progress. It will measure the mass distribution of isolated black holes, as well as planetary, brown dwarf and stellar lenses in a wider range of galactic environments than ever before. It may even detect lensing in our neighboring galaxies, the Magellenic Clouds.


Subgroup Chairs:

Somayeh Khakpash, University of Delaware

Our subgroup has 22 members, based in the USA, Germany, France, UK and New Zealand.
New members are welcome!

If you are an existing member of TVS, please contact Rachel via email or LSST Slack to join.

Otherwise, you can join the TVS Science Collaboration and indicate microlensing as your primary subgroup via the application form here. All members are expected to read and abide by the TVS Code of Conduct, the TVS Charter, and the TVS Publication Policy. Those documents describe the priviledges and responsibilities of TVS membership. Members may sign the Code of Conduct and Charter using this web form. We look forward to having you join us!

Active Projects

  • Early detection and classification of events from LSST alert data products
  • Developing tools and resources for a coordinated follow-up observing program
  • Verifying microlensing-specific metrics to evaluate LSST survey strategy proposals within the MAF


Our scientific goals are described in detail in the TVS Roadmap.

We also submitted two White Papers in response to the 2018 call for LSST Survey Cadence proposals.
The first outlines a modification to the Wide-Fast-Deep survey strategy that would extend its coverage to include the Galactic Bulge, Plane and Magellenic Clouds.
The second White Paper describes how the LSST and WFIRST surveys can be combined and optimize to maximize planetary discoveries in the Galactic Bulge.
Both White Papers highlight how these proposed strategies deliver a range of stellar astrophysics in addition to microlensing.

Microlensing group members are actively developing metrics for the evaluation of survey operations simulations with respect to microlensing science, as well as a number of other open-source software tools for microlensing, including filters for the ANTARES broker, to enable microlensing events to be identified from current survey discoveries.