Today Astronomy in each of its subfields faces the epoch of big data. New ground and space-based facilities have begun to produce large sets of astronomical observations with unprecedented astrometric and photometric accuracy. The Gaia survey provides better calibrations for future and past observations of Solar System bodies; its third data releases (EDR3, DR3) expected in 2020 and 2021 will bring almost the complete catalog covering the whole sky. The NASA Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) has observed 85% of the visible sky for transiting extrasolar planets; monitoring each patch of sky for 28 days in 30-minute intervals with ~15,000 stars in each pointing selected to be observed with a 2-minute cadence. This data deluge will continue to grow as new observatories under construction come online. Starting in ~2023 the Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will provide the next data leap with 15 TB/night, covering the entire visible sky every 3 nights. LSST will provide over a billion observations of millions of Solar System objects.
Small telescopes (up to 2 m in diameter) are numerous, their full potential in time-domain planetary sciences can be achieved if measurements done with them are well-calibrated. Sky surveys, radar, and space-borne data provide highly accurate data for making such external calibration. The newly discovered Solar System objects in the surveys are necessary to follow up and confirm which can be done efficiently with the small telescopes. Sharing this experience and advanced techniques enlarge efficiency and facilitate using small telescopes and the past photographic archives in contemporary science. New methods for debiasing past observations, for census of data-mining in old photographic plate surveys, need to be discussed. Similarly, smallsats as small space-based satellites (nanosatellites and cubesats) start also to be of interest to support larger missions and surveys, for instance, to improve the prevision of exoplanets transit timing.
The big data methods and data mining applied to sky surveys, past photographic data, other archives have the potential in detecting new objects, advancing classification, and data analysis. These methods should radically increase the completeness of search for fast-moving Solar System bodies even in the small telescope archives. These efforts should increase the observational history of Solar System bodies and extract valuable information from the available data archives.
The Focus Meeting is aimed at promoting the complementarity of large surveys and astronomy done with the small telescopes, the application of big data methods to modern and past sky surveys, the study of small telescope data archives, all these unveiling new horizons for the Solar System, and exoplanetary research.