Raffle Entries

Every year LSST produces a signature “patch” featuring the most important milestone from the year.  In 2014 we highlighted our federal construction start.  In 2015 we commemorated the First Stone ceremony that took place in April 2015 on Cerro Pachón.    Tucked into one side of the patch was the number 65 – what is the meaning of that number?  While we had no correct answers, congratulations go to our winner Chuck Claver, whose entry was chosen by random from all guesses.  The guesses are transcribed below and the correct answer is:  The “earned value” of LSST, for both the NSF and DOE funded efforts, at the end of May 2015 was $65M. Patch design is finalized in June so by the end of May the work accomplished on the project had a monetary value of $65M.  Every year we will include a number on the patch that is the earned value of LSST, in millions of dollars.  We’ll know we’re done when our earned value reaches $641M, the not-to-exceed number in then-year dollars of the combined NSF and DOE approved budgets for LSST construction.


Some common guesses:

  • # of Employees
  • # of Institutional Members, nationalities, or collaborating institutions
  • # of Months until: commissioning, first light, operations, hardware integration, etc.
  • Weight of first stone (in various units), or M1M3 in shipping container
  • Diameter (in cm) of the focal plane or (in decimeters) of the effective aperture
  • Age (average) of the project staff, or age individuals will be at completion of various milestones


Other numerical guesses:

  • # of reviews passed by LSST project (NSF and DOE combined) as of 5/31/15 
  • The project is 65% complete from the first concept of kick-off meeting date
  • The $amount in millions of fixed-price contracts secured by the T&S subsystem so far.
  • 65 blasts to flatten the hill
  • 65 Petabyte image archive
  • https://project.lsst.org/node/65 - FDR, save the date web page!
  • 65 bottles of beer on the wall
  • 65 pieces of rocks given to people


Several associated 65 with a date:

  • 1965 = Date LSST was conceived as a concept for a telescope
  • 65 = MLV (Massively Large View)
  • 65 = 1965, first year of observations @CTIO
  • 65th anniversary of the discovery of the Oort Cloud
  • 2015 – 65 = 1950.  LSST has been looking at historical optical surveys.  The amount of sky coverage in the optically variable sky is huge (like 40 million stars and such) so we are using 65 years of optical data.


From the mathematicians in the crowd:

  • 65 = 82 + 1
  • 65=1.54 times 42, which is the answer to a question that was long forgotten.


And finally, entries from those who think a bit outside the box:

  •  “65” is a mistake
  • The design version of the patch
  • The #65 was placed on the patch solely for the purpose of making people speculate what it is!