Rubin Digest 24 March 2020
24 March 2020
Project & Science News
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Project activities. As a preventative measure, construction activities on Cerro Pachón have been shut down, and the site secured as safely as possible given the incomplete condition of the facility. Staff are now teleworking, and will focus on advancing any elements of the Project possible. The Base Facility in La Serena and the Project headquarters in Tucson, AZ, are also closed with staff teleworking. Updates on the evolving situation are available here.
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has closed completely, with all staff teleworking, for an initial period of three weeks. Work on the LSST Camera is suspended while the facility is closed; updates on the closure will be posted on the SLAC website.
Rubin Observatory Chief Scientist Tony Tyson briefed the United States Congress on March 11, 2020, on the impact of satellite constellations on astronomy. His presentation, which is geared towards a public audience, can be accessed at this link.
The Rubin Observatory Commissioning Camera shipped from Project headquarters in Tucson, AZ, on March 16th; it will travel to Chile by air. The 5000 lb. mass simulator, which will allow ComCam to be mechanically integrated with the telescope and used for testing on Cerro Pachón, left Tucson on March 12th and will travel to Chile by ship.
The Rubin Observatory Algorithms workshop took place on March 17-19. It was the first large Project-hosted event to be migrated to an all-virtual format, and the results were very successful. More than 80 people were on the meeting platform at times—a group photo is available in the Gallery. Presentations are available at this link.
The Operations team is extraordinarily busy as they work on the Operations proposal for Rubin Observatory, and the Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). A Director’s review of the status of Operations planning is being carried out this week in preparation for a joint agency panel review in April.
Spencer Nelson joined the Data Management team on March 16th, as Alert Stream Developer. As a member of the Alert Production team at the University of Washington, Spencer will be developing the system used for delivering Rubin Observatory’s science alerts to end users.
Upcoming Meetings with Rubin Observatory Involvement
(those with asterisk* are LSSTC funded):
April 14-16: Operations Status Review, Virtual
Postponed: Supernovae Across LSST, Urbana-Champaign, IL*
June 1-3: Supermassive Black Hole Studies with the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Madison, WI
June 4-19: SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation Conference, Yokohama, Japan
July 20-25: LSST DESC Meeting, Chicago, IL
July 21-24: Joint Directors Review (JDR) Tucson, AZ
August 10-14: Rubin Observatory Project and Community Workshop 2020, Tucson, AZ
Aug 31-Sept 3: Joint Status Review, Menlo Park, CA
Sept 1-3: NSF Large Facilities Workshop, Alexandria, VA