Dark Energy with Dask: Analyzing data from the next generation of large astronomical surveys


Michael Wood-Vasey, an astronomer at the University of Pittsburgh, joins Coiled to discuss using Dask to measure the expansion of the Universe using large data from the next generation of large telescopes.

The expansion of the Universe is accelerating and we don’t know why.  We have given a name to our ignorance: “dark energy”.

The Vera C. Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Dark Energy Science Collaboration (LSST DESC, https://www.lsst-desc.org) seeks to unlock the mysteries of the accelerated expansion of the Universe.  To do this we need to understand large datasets and analyze them for both the scientific signal but also for systematic noise.  We are exploring using Dask to help analyze the terabyte to petabyte scale catalogs that will be created by the 10-year LSST survey of half of the sky to start in 2023.  DESC is currently working on Data Challenge to prepare our systems, analyses, and thinking for the upcoming onslaught of data.  This talk will describe how we are using Dask to analyze the Data Challenge and how we are planning and identifying needs for the future.

After attending, you’ll know

  • We can observe distant galaxies to measure the dark energy that is driving the accelerated expansion of the Universe,
  • Dask is being used by astronomers for data visualization and validation,
  • We want to learn how to efficiently serve a large number of simultaneous users in Dask.

Join us this Thursday, August 19 at 6pm US Eastern time by signing up here and dive into the wonderful universe of possibilities with Dask!

Register Here