Tunguska, baby!

November 4, 2016 - UW astronomy Research Scientists John Parejko and David Reiss presented "LSST: Mining the Universe in 4D" to a crowd of 250-300 beer drinkers at a local Seattle bar for a special edition of "Astronomy on Tap”.  This monthly event partnered with TEDx this time around and drew a crowd of about 300 enthusiastic attendees.

New Camera Website & Video

November 1, 2016 - Today SLAC launched a new media-rich website and video about the LSST digital camera, the largest ever built for astronomy.  Ranked as the top ground-based national priority for the field for the current decade, LSST is currently under construction in Chile. The U.S. Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is leading the construction of the LSST camera – the largest digital camera ever built for astronomy. Financial support for LSST comes from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation.


October 28, 2016 - LSST was prominent at last week’s AAS DPS/EPSC meeting in Pasadena, CA, starting with a workshop titled “Getting to Know the LSST”.  Deputy Director Beth Willman presented a summary and status of LSST followed by Nate Lust presenting work on false positive rates for LSST moving objects and Lynne Jones (and the littlest #LSST scientist) talking about LSST's observing strategy and aspects of LSST's planetary astronomy science capabilities.  A few dozen people attended the workshop, which wrapped up with an engaged Q&A session. 

Integration has Begun!

October 20, 2016 – The first LSST hardware integration between vendors took place today on Cerro Pachón, a major milestone! This image shows the lowering of a steel base plate for the dome azimuth track (from EIE in Italy) atop the concrete wall of the lower enclosure (from Besalco in Chile). This  plate, the first of 16, weighs about one and a half tons and is lifted by crane over 50 feet in the air for installation. The plates and their anchor bolts will be installed and precisely aligned/level and then left for a curing period of 90 days. After that 3-month curing of the concrete, EIE will return to more precisely level and install grout under the base plates, which will provide the foundation for the continued integration of the dome azimuth track system. 

TCAM Workshop

October 14, 2016 - University of Washington hosted a meeting of the managers of Data Management software teams last week. The group focused on finalizing definitions of work packages and cost estimation needed for the upcoming baseline change request related to the DM replan.  Shown in the picture, with their “special” cake baked by LSST Project Scientist Zeljko Ivezic, are (L-R front row) S. Krughoff, X. Wu, and J. Becla. Behind them (L-R) are F. Economou, Fritz Mueller, K.T. Lim, J. Swinbank, and LSST Project Controls Specialist K. Long. 


LSST Poster Download

October 8, 2016 - This LSST poster was recently updated to support the 2016 "White House Astronomy Night" hosted by the University of Pittsburgh next week at their Allegheny Observatory. This event was inspired by the 2015 White House Astronomy Night held on the South Lawn, which included an evening of stargazing. The poster, created by graphic designer Emily Acosta, is being made available in three sizes for downloading. It illustrates four aspects of LSST: Science Discovery, Big Data, STEM Education, and Characterization of Near Earth Objects.

Connections across the Atlantic

September 30, 2016 - Several members of the Telescope & Site and Systems Engineering groups were in Madrid, Spain this week for the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) Test Verification Review.  This review of the verification plans for the TMA include a project milestone:  the first “official” integration of a vendor subsystem with the LSST visit-simulator controls software, the software that instructs the telescope to move to a new location on the sky.  This image is a screen shot documenting a standard visit sequence of moving the dome, adjusting the hexapod / actuator assembly, fixing on the guide star and then completing the exposure sequence.  The Operations Simulator, OpSim, was used to  provide a realistic s

TED Radio Hour

September 16, 2016 - LSST Simulation Scientist Andy Connolly is one of four speakers featured on the TED Radio Hour broadcast September 9, 2016.  The topic is the Big Data Revolution, and speakers explore how Big Data will reshape our world from different perspectives.  Andy draws from his March 2014 TED Talk (with more than 1.2 million views) and talks with NPR host Guy Raz about recent LSST developments and “What Data Will be Discovered by the World’s Most Powerful Telescope”.   

Precision Machining of the M1M3 Cell Begins

September 9, 2016 – Now that the M1M3 mirror cell has been welded and stress relieved, the initial machining of the M1M3 cell weldment has begun at CAID Industries in Tucson.  This short video shows the machining of the +4000 interface holes and precision interfaces between the cell and the glass mirror and the cell and the coating chamber.  The flange ring getting machined in the video is the circular “ridge” shown in the first image.  

New OpSim Reference Run

August 26, 2016 - There are several sets of simulated surveys produced using the Operations Simulator (OpSim) which are available to the LSST Project and to the scientific community.  A new OpSim Reference Simulated Survey, minion_1016, has been approved and placed under change control.  This Reference Run replaces opsim3.61 and is an updated demonstration of the primary capabilities of the OpSim v3.3.5 codebase.  A Reference Simulated Survey (or Reference Run) is a technical designation and is a demonstration of the primary capabilities of the OpSim v3.3.5 codebase.


Financial support for LSST 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 LSST 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 LSST camera 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. 

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