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!

Rubin’s 8.4-meter Mirror Moves into the Observatory

Drone view of the Rubin summit team moving the combined 8.4-meter Primary/Tertiary Mirror from a storage building into the Observatory on March 7, 2024.

Rubin Observatory’s primary/tertiary mirror was successfully moved from a storage building into the observatory on March 7, 2024

Rubin Observatory will Inspire a New Era in Space Missions Without Ever Leaving the Ground

Rubin Observatory will discover millions of new asteroids to consider for up-close exploration

Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s detailed, big-picture view of our Solar System and ability to quickly detect and track moving objects will provide a gold mine of data to benefit space mission planning and preparation

Vera C. Rubin Observatory will help scientists identify intriguing targets to prioritize for future space missions by detecting millions of new Solar System objects, and by revealing — in more detail than we’ve ever seen — the broader context in which these objects exist. Additionally, Rubin may alert scientists to the existence of objects like asteroids, comets, or visiting interstellar objects in time to determine their trajectories and prepare space missions to study them.

Rubin Hosts Teacher Workshops in Chile

Photo of participants

Teachers in Chile get hands-on experience using Rubin Observatory’s classroom investigations

Rubin Represents in New Orleans

Rubin Observatory team members joined scientists, students, and astronomy enthusiasts at a recent meeting in New Orleans
The American Astronomical Society (AAS) held its annual winter meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana, on January 7-11, and Rubin Observatory sent an enthusiastic group of staff members and scientists to participate. Overall, the meeting drew more than 3000 in-person attendees, and the agenda was packed each day from morning until night with inspiring speakers, science presentations, press conferences, workshops, and more.

Happy Holidays from Rubin Observatory

From all of us at Rubin Observatory, have a happy and healthy holiday season, and best wishes for the New Year!

Rubin Observatory Will Unlock Fossil Record of Galaxy Cluster Evolution

Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s fast-moving telescope and huge digital camera will illuminate the faint glow of free-floating stars within galaxy clusters
December 4, 2023
Intracluster light, the collective glow of innumerable stars stripped from their home galaxies and left to wander vast intergalactic space, is incredibly faint and difficult to detect. Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s upcoming Legacy Survey of Space and Time will be the first astronomical survey to provide scientists with the data they need to detect intracluster light in thousands of galaxy clusters, unlocking clues to the evolutionary history of the Universe on large scales.

Science by the Sea

Scientists and Rubin staff gather in Croatia to prepare for Rubin Observatory data. Credit: LSST Discovery Alliance/T. Licul

No matter what activity you love, you’ve probably experienced the benefits of getting together with other people who love it too. Sharing ideas as a community, either online or in person, can be so inspiring! That feeling is what drew about 150 scientists and Rubin staff (with an additional ~55 participating online) to Poreč, Croatia, from September 25-29 for a meeting called LSST@Europe5. LSST is short for Legacy Survey of Space and Time — the name of the 10-year survey Rubin will begin in 2025.

Rubin 2023—Operations Team Takes the PCW Helm

The Rubin Operations team hosted its first Rubin Project and Community Workshop (PCW) in August 2023, after more than 15 years of annual meetings facilitated by the Rubin Construction Project. Construction leadership and many staff members were still active participants in the meeting, but this year’s agenda had a stronger focus on preparations for using Rubin data and other topics of interest to the growing Rubin science community. More than 300 people attended the meeting in person at the University Marriott in Tucson, Arizona, and an additional 160 people registered to participate virtually in plenaries and select breakout sessions.

TMA Achieves Substantial Completion

The structure that will support the telescope’s optical system is handed over to the Rubin team

April 14, 2023 - Rubin Observatory celebrated a major construction milestone at the end of March, when the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA), the structure that will soon support the observatory’s optical system, was declared substantially complete. That designation means that testing has proven that the TMA is functioning well enough for UTE, the Spain-based consortium contracted by Rubin to build and assemble the TMA on the summit, to hand it over to the Rubin team for integration of other components.


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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