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. 

Mass Simulator for the LSST Camera Arrives in Chile

September 21, 2021 - The mass simulator for the Rubin Observatory LSST Camera was shipped from SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory on September 3rd, 2021, and arrived successfully on the summit of Cerro Pachón, in Chile, on September 13th. This shipment was an important test run for the valuable and delicate LSST Camera, which is scheduled to ship to Chile from SLAC next year. The entire shipment process was carefully monitored and tested to record any events that might indicate the possibility of damage to the LSST Camera, and we're happy to report that not a single one occurred!

New Initiative will Advance Science with Rubin Observatory

Photo of Rubin Observatory taken from above by a drone. The observatory has a white dome and a long support building that extends to the left of the dome. The observatory is on a dry, brown mountain top with other mountains stretching into the distance.

August 25, 2021 - Rubin Observatory is pleased to share the news of a major initiative that will result in new software to analyze the datasets from Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). The effort will be led by LSST Corporation member institutions Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Washington. The Community Science and Data Center (CSDC) at NSF's NOIRLab will collaborate with the team to make the software freely available to the entire astrophysics community.

A Formal Relationship: The Rubin Observatory Science Collaboration Federation Charter has been Ratified

August 10, 2021 - The Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Science Collaborations (SCs) were created in 2006 by then-LSST Director Tony Tyson and the LSST Corporation Board, and since then the SCs have provided invaluable scientific expertise—and a lot of hard work—towards making the Rubin Observatory science vision a reality. Now, a new document has been ratified that formalizes the existence of the SCs and provides details about the relationship between the SCs and Rubin Observatory.

Community Engagement with Rubin Observatory Commissioning Effort

Vera C. Rubin Observatory announces an opportunity for members of the US and Chilean science community to join the Rubin Observatory Commissioning Team and contribute to an efficient and successful transition to Operations. This commitment requires a high level of engagement in return for direct experience with—and a deep understanding of—the full chain from observations to final data products and data access tools that will be released to the science community, including the hardware, image properties, and Science Pipeline algorithms.

Countdown to Data Preview Zero

For astronomers and students waiting eagerly to do science with Rubin Observatory, a milestone that brings everything one big step closer is about a week away: Data Preview 0 (DP0) will be the first in a series of three data previews leading up to the start of the Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). For this data preview, participants will access simulated data using the Rubin Science Platform (RSP). Although a small number of users have been accessing the RSP on an experimental basis, this marks the first time that a wider group of science community members are invited to access the platform, and are provided with a level of service and support.

Bridge Crane Installation

May 17, 2021 - Rubin Observatory now has a permanent, operational overhead bridge crane (OBC) in the dome, thanks to the combined efforts of many organizations and individuals. This 18-ton capacity OBC will be used to continue telescope assembly and system integration during construction, and will facilitate maintenance and repairs throughout Rubin Observatory operations.


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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