Mirror Wash Tests

April 27, 2022 - Washing and drying an 8.4-meter mirror is no simple task, but with specialized equipment and procedures that are now being developed, the team on the summit will be able to keep both of Rubin Observatory’s mirrors clean and optimally reflective throughout the ten-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). This video shows the washing station in action with the mirror surrogate, as the team works on defining the washing and drying parameters that will be used to clean the real Primary/Tertiary Mirror (M1M3) in the future. 

A New Look for the Dome

April 12, 2022 - The Rubin Observatory dome has a new look, after the team from EIE and the Chilean contractor SyR applied natural mill-finished aluminum sheeting to the dome’s exterior over the last several months. No longer white, the dome’s snazzy reflective surface appears silver, or sometimes blue as it reflects the sky.

Keeping it Clean

Finding the Balance

How do you design an automated astronomical survey that enables as much science as possible? For the past few years, the Rubin Observatory team has worked closely with the scientific community to focus on this question, and now Rubin Observatory is in the final stages of defining the initial survey strategy for the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST).

Announcement: Director’s Office appointments / Anuncio - Nombramientos en la Oficina del Director

**Versión en Español más abajo**

Dear Colleagues,

Since my appointment as Director of Rubin Construction I’ve been working with the team to set up further appointments in the Director’s office (pending NSF approval). 

Željko Ivezić appointed Director of Rubin Observatory Construction

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to communicate to you all that Matt Mountain (AURA President) has announced that Željko Ivezić will assume the role of Director of Rubin Observatory Construction upon my departure from the Project on January 3, 2022. 

Camera Lift Practice

December 7, 2021 - On a sunny day at the end of November, the team on the summit of Cerro Pachón completed the big task—in terms of size and importance—of removing and re-installing the camera surrogate mass from the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA). The camera surrogate mass is a steel structure that approximates the mass of the LSST Camera assembly, used for testing system interfaces and procedures before  the real, and far more delicate, LSST Camera arrives on the summit.* This procedure was carried out using the bridge crane installed inside the observatory dome, and the camera lifting fixture—a yellow, claw-like contraption that was custom-built for just this purpose. 

Camera Cooldown

November 12, 2021 - The LSST Camera team at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory celebrated a very cold day at the beginning of November—not because of the weather, but because both of the systems that keep the LSST Camera cool were running successfully together for the first time since January 2021.

Optical Achievements

October 19, 2021 - The last of the six Rubin Observatory LSST Camera filters arrived at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in September, an event that marked the completion of the major camera components and the end of years of work by engineers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), who designed and managed the fabrication of the camera’s lenses and filters. 

The TMA Awakens

October 1, 2021 - Dynamic things are happening on the summit of Cerro Pachón; the era of static components is ending, and the telescope is on the move! Testing of the hydrostatic bearing system of the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) was successfully conducted in mid-September—during this process the TMA was manually rotated in azimuth and elevation for the first time since testing at the Asturfeito factory in Spain.


Financial support for Rubin Observatory comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, 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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