Our Mission

Rubin Observatory’s mission is to build a well-understood system that will produce an unprecedented astronomical data set for studies of the deep and dynamic universe, make the data widely accessible to a diverse community of scientists, and engage the public to explore the Universe with us.


LSST received its federal construction start in August of 2014. This website supports the LSST Project Office in its construction of the facility.

Rubin’s LSST Camera is Complete

LSST Camera Deputy Project Manager Travis Lange shines a flashlight into the LSST Camera

SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory celebrates the completion of the largest camera ever built for astronomy and astrophysics

Vera C. Rubin Observatory is excited to announce that the team at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has finished building the 3200-megapixel LSST Camera, which will soon be shipped to Chile and mounted on the telescope inside Rubin Observatory. This camera is the largest ever built for astronomy and astrophysics, and it took two decades of work to complete. The LSST camera is the size of a small car, and it will take images so large that you’d need hundreds of ultra-high-definition TVs — or about 1200 iPhone screens — to view just one at full size!

The LSST Camera will be mounted at the center of the Simonyi Survey Telescope inside Rubin Observatory, and it will take enormous images of the southern hemisphere night sky, over and over again for 10 years. Scientists will use the data from these images to learn more about dark matter and dark energy, the Milky Way, our Solar System, and things that move or change in the night sky.

Now that the camera is complete, the team at SLAC will carefully pack it in a custom shipping container and send it to Chile, where the camera will be driven (very carefully!) to the summit of Cerro Pachón. After testing in a special clean room inside the Observatory, the camera will be installed on the telescope later this year.

You can read more details about this amazing camera in the official press release from SLAC, which also contains links to photos and video. Congratulations to our team at SLAC on this historic achievement!

Read the press release

Watch a video about how the camera will work in Rubin Observatory

Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Support Agreement No. 1202910, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded Rubin Observatory Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera (LSSTCam) is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC).
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 to promote the progress of science. NSF supports basic research and people to create knowledge that transforms the future.
NSF and DOE will continue to support Rubin Observatory in its Operations phase. They will also provide support for scientific research with LSST data.   

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