AAS 237 Special Session: The Data Lab Science Platform and Open-Data Ecosystem at NSF's NOIRLab

Please join us at the virtual AAS 237 meeting. We will host a special session about the Data Lab and how it connects with other data-oriented services at NOIRLab on Tuesday January 12, 2021 at 4:10pm EST. The full session description and talk program are listed below. We will also have an associated poster session, for which astronomers, data scientists, students, and educators from our community are welcome to submit an abstract when the AAS registration opens.

As we keep progressing into an era of increasingly large and rich astronomy datasets, we augment our opportunities for new transformative discoveries. Wide-field surveys generate datasets in tens to hundreds of Terabytes in volume. The number of objects in today’s survey catalogs reach billions per survey, which can be prohibitive for individual researchers’ resources. The Data Lab science platform was therefore developed as a core piece of NOIRLab's data mission to allow researchers to bring their analysis to the data. The “open-sky, open-data” vision of NOIRLab drives our efforts to strengthen the astronomy community by broadening the reach and accessibility of not only the data themselves, but also of powerful software tools and tutorials. Working together, NOIRLab's data services will empower users from all backgrounds to contribute a diverse set of ideas and skills and therefore maximize scientific discoveries from the astronomy community as a whole.

Since Data Lab opened its doors in 2017, we have added high-value datasets, new services, and have seen a growing number of registered users. In conjunction with AAS 237, our latest dataset additions include the second release of the Dark Energy Survey (DES DR2, to be announced at AAS 237), the ninth and final release of DESI imaging Legacy Surveys (LS DR9), and the second release of the nearly all-sky NOAO Source Catalog (NCS DR2). NSC includes almost 4 billion unique objects with 68 billion individual measurements, making it one of the largest photometric dataset before the arrival of Rubin Observatory's Legacy Survey of Space and Time. Our data holdings can be accessed through various services including catalog query tools, image cutout service, cross-matching capabilities, dedicated user storage space, workflows through a Jupyter notebook server, and via scripted analysis.

This Special Session will start with an overview of the Data Lab, its mission, latest advances and dataset additions before expanding to describe the broader data-intensive context at NSF’s NOIRLab. We will show how the various data-oriented services connect to form an open-data ecosystem. Namely, this session will introduce the new Astro Data Archive (formerly the NOAO Science Data Archive) interface, with its fast and flexible search capabilities, and showcase how to employ it directly with the Data Lab. We will further show how to connect time-domain capabilities from the ANTARES stream alert broker to the Data Lab. The session will also feature highlights from our user community including scientific results as well as an education application in a classroom setting. Data Lab aims to contribute to train the next generation of researchers at the crossroads of astronomy and big data science. We will conclude with a short Q&A during which we welcome questions and suggestions from the attendees.

We hope that the session attendees will leave with a greater understanding of the role of science platforms in astronomy, but also with ideas and inspiration for new research opportunities. Current users are invited to share their research making use of Data Lab or data services at NOIRLab in the associated poster session and/or during the Q&A. This session is open to astronomers, data scientists, and educators from all levels and backgrounds. We seek to keep improving our services to serve the broad astronomy user community.

Program for the Special Session (January 12, 4:10pm EST):

  • Data Lab Overview: Mission, Data & Services
  • Moving toward Unified NOIRLab Data Services
  • Time-domain analysis with the ANTARES event broker
  • Connecting catalogs to image pixels with the Astro Data Archive
  • Joint Spectroscopic & Photometric Analyses of Low-Redshift Galaxies
  • Science with the Dark Energy Survey at NOIRLab
  • Using Data Lab to identify Tidal Disruption Events
  • Undergraduate Research with the Data Lab