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Title: Give Me a Few Hours: Exploring Short Timescales in Rubin Observatory Cadence Simulations

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.

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The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series
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Article No. 13
DOI PREFIX: 10.3847
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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