The limiting temporal resolution of a time-domain survey in detecting transient behavior is set by the time between observations of the same sky area. We analyze the distribution of visit separations for a range of Vera C. Rubin Observatory cadence simulations. Simulations from families v1.5-v1.7.1 are strongly peaked at the 22 minute visit pair separation and provide effectively no constraint on temporal evolution within the night. This choice will necessarily prevent Rubin from discovering a wide range of astrophysical phenomena in time to trigger rapid follow-up. We present a science-agnostic metric to supplement detailed simulations of fast-evolving transients and variables and suggest potential approaches for improving the range of timescales explored.
The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
- Pub Date:
- January 2022
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- 7 pages, 2 figures. Submitted to the ApJS Rubin Cadence Focus Issue