sci23062 — Announcement

Rare Gems in Big Data

November 28, 2023

The discovery potential of large astrophysical surveys: science opportunities, tools, and techniques

20–23 May 2024 Tucson, AZ, USA 

Main topics

Surveys, time-domain and multi-messenger astrophysics, galaxies, cosmology, Milky Way and nearby galaxies, stellar populations, exoplanets, Solar System objects, techniques and tools.


NOIRLab was established in 2019 to enable and share breakthrough discoveries in astronomy and astrophysics with state-of-the-art ground-based observatories, data products, and services for a diverse and inclusive community. As part of this mission, we are happy to announce the first in a regular NOIRLab conference series, on the topic of Rare Gems in Big Data.

Discoveries of rare gems in large astrophysical surveys have the potential to transform our understanding of the Universe across a broad range of science areas, such as the Milky Way and its halo, transients and variables, moving objects, planetary systems, and multi-messenger astronomy. Such discoveries, however, will be driven not only by the available data but also by the tools and infrastructure available to mine them. The motivation for this four-day NOIRLab conference is to explore the discovery space enabled by ongoing and upcoming astrophysical surveys (DESI, Rubin/LSST etc.) and the tools and techniques needed to find rare gems in them, including anomaly detection, citizen science, and AI & machine learning. We will also highlight the importance of spectroscopic and photometric follow-up observations and the services and tools developed by NOIRLab and others such as data archives, science platforms, and real-time astronomy systems. 

The conference will feature talks by experts in the field to give background and set context, sessions designed for discussion and active engagement by participants, and live demos with opportunities for participants to try out new techniques. 

The gems within the data are ready to shine brightly at this unparalleled gathering of astronomical minds.


Yumi Choi (Chair) (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Federica Bianco (University of Delaware/Rubin Observatory)
Stéphanie Juneau (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Ryan Lau (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Tom Matheson (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Aaron Meisner (NSF’s NOIRLab)
David Nidever (Montana State University)
Michelle Ntampaka (Space Telescope Science Institute)
Knut Olsen (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Antonella Palmese (Carnegie Mellon University)
David Trilling (Northern Arizona University)


Yumi Choi (Chair) (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Alexus Abbott (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Jessica Harris (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Ryan Lau (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Bryan Miller (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Knut Olsen (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Lamont Payne (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Vinicius Placco (NSF’s NOIRLab)
Kathy Vivas (NSF’s NOIRLab)

Invited speakers

Coming soon!

Important dates

Coming soon!


About the Announcement