LSST Celebrates Asteroid Day 2017

June 28, 2017- Again this year, LSST will participate in Asteroid Day, a UN-sanctioned global day to raise awareness about asteroids and in particular how we protect Earth from potential asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day 2017 takes place June 30th and is sponsored by the B612 Foundation, an American-based non-profit organization created to protect the Earth from dangerous asteroids through early detection.

Lights, Camera, Interview

June 20, 2017 - Sandrine Thomas, Project Scientist for LSST’s Telescope and Site Subsystem, took some time out from her busy work schedule last week to sit down with Alison Rose of Inigo Films for an extended on-camera interview. Interviews were also conducted with LSST Director Steve Kahn, LSST Deputy Director Beth Willman, and LSST Project Manager Victor Krabbendam.

Each of the four interviewees gave his or her own perspective on the rewards and challenges involved in leading a diverse, distributed team tasked with building a revolutionary telescope. The interviews were conducted as informal conversations, allowing for in-depth explorations of interesting topics.

On Track

June 2, 2017 - Members of LSST’s Primary/Tertiary Mirror (M1M3) integration team recently completed training on the Leica Absolute Laser Tracker AT-930, a sophisticated tool for collecting precise measurements in three dimensions. The laser tracker will be used for a multitude of tasks associated with M1M3 integration, including accurate positioning of static supports and wedges for hardpoints.

Azimuth Advancements

May 26, 2017 - Work on the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) by subcontractor Asturfeito in Spain is progressing rapidly. An auxiliary second level platform has been installed, providing access to the azimuth floor. In addition, azimuth radial bearings have been placed and vertical seismic stops have been trial fitted. Currently, the plan is to float the azimuth structure on the hydrostatic bearings in July, which will be the first time the base of the TMA supports the full structural load.

Snow Days on Cerro Pachón

May 19, 2017 – As summer starts to heat up here in the north, a major winter storm swept through Cerro Pachón in the southern hemisphere this past week, dropping nearly 16 inches (40 cm) of snow on the summit. Site Manager Eduardo Serrano was able to access the summit after the storm to provide photos of the snow blanketing the construction site. The snow was preceded by significant rain which washed out sections of the road, causing problems for trucks and staff-transporting buses. The same front also brought heavy rain to La Serena, dropping 8 inches (20 cm) of rain in just a couple of days, which is the area's usual annual rainfall. 

LSST: Constructing a New Era in Astronomy

May 2, 2017 - Fly over the summit of Cerro Pachón in Chile with us and see how quickly LSST is becoming a reality! This video documents the progress of construction so far, dramatically capturing the scale and complexity of the ongoing project.

A multimedia team was contracted to document the project via drone film footage, time-lapse sequences, panorama images, and full dome clips. This LSST blog post describes the details of the film crew's March 2017 visit to the construction site.

Music licensed from Extreme Music

Training for Tomorrow

April 28, 2017 - The third session of the LSSTC Data Science Fellowship Program (DSFP), hosted jointly by NOAO and the University of Arizona, took place this week in Tucson. The Data Science Fellowship Program is a two-year training program supported primarily by the LSST Corporationthrough its Enabling Science Initiative, with additional contributions from Northwestern University. The program is designed to teach astronomy students essential skills that will prepare them to work with big data from LSST.

Supporting Progress – updated 4/27/17

April 27, 2017 - Further progress has been made on the Spanish pier. Both azimuth supports are now in place on the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA), and the main connecting I-beam known as the "keel" has been attached between them. The orange banks of capacitors were pre-installed on the keel beam prior to its attachment. 

Cerro Pachón Goes Hollywood

April 7, 2017 - Last week was an “other duties as necessary” kind of work week for LSST Graphic Designer Emily Acosta and Telescope Site Manager Eduardo Serrano. Emily traveled from Tucson to Cerro Pachón to meet a nine-member multimedia team directed by Alison Rose of Inigo Films and to coordinate with Eduardo so the media team’s work didn’t interfere with ongoing construction activities. Inigo Films was contracted to document the current state of construction via drone film footage, time-lapse sequences, panorama images, and full dome clips. The assets will be archived in LSST’s upcoming digital asset management system for project viewing and later use in Education and Public Outreach (EPO) programs.

Coating Chamber Final Design Review

March 31, 2017 - The Final Design Review for the LSST Coating Plant took place last week in Germany.  Four members of the Telescope & Site team (Tomislav Vucina, Doug Neil, Constanza Araujo, and John Andrew) traveled with Systems Engineer Brian Selvy to the  Von Ardenne GmbH facility in Dresden.


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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