rubinann20006 — Announcement

Rubin Digest 07 April 2020

7 April 2020

Project & Science News

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Rubin Observatory construction. The summit shutdown is still in effect and has halted all activity there including work on the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA), and the Dome. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory is also still closed, preventing work on the Camera. When safe conditions permit the facilities to re-open, Project leadership will work with the team to transition back to full construction, as well as with our funding agencies, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the US Department of Energy (DOE), to re-baseline the Project.

Answers to frequently asked questions about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Rubin Observatory have been posted on the website. Project members should log in to view additional questions and answers that pertain to staff.

Please note: Daylight Saving Time in Chile ended on Saturday April 4th, and clocks there moved back an hour. If you’re unsure whether a meeting start time may have been affected by this change, please contact the meeting organizer to confirm. 

Progress continues on development of the Rubin Observatory deep drilling strategies. The Project Survey Simulation Team has simulated about eight different deep drilling strategies, and feedback is requested from the science community. The Simulation Team will start writing up results for proposed potential survey plans starting in May, so comments before then are appreciated. Details can be found at

The Rubin Observatory Commissioning Camera (ComCam), which shipped from Tucson on March 16th, has arrived safely in La Serena, Chile. It was unpacked temporarily in the La Serena Data Center, and inspections showed that the physical components are in good shape (photos here). Next, ComCam will be set up in a safe configuration for internal health checks and the team will determine which testing activities can be done in the Data Center computer room while the summit is closed. The ComCam integration structure is still on its way to Chile by ship, and is scheduled to arrive in late April.

A crew of six people traveled to Cerro Pachón on March 31st to complete mechanical, environmental, and electrical inspections of the facilities and equipment on the summit. Everything remains in good condition since the shutdown 10 days ago. The team also brought back items that staff had requested for telework productivity during the summit closure. Photos from the summit inspection are available in the Gallery.

Although physical work on the LSST Camera at SLAC has stopped, the Camera team participated in a refrigeration system review on March 23rd, and a successful integration readiness review on March 27th. Additionally, filter coating work is still underway at Materion; the first surface of the z filter was successfully coated last week. 

Operations Updates

The Operations Status Directors Review took place virtually March 24-26, providing Project staff with constructive feedback that will be used to prepare for the Operations Status Review—also virtual—on April 14-16. 

A working group is being established to investigate joint processing of the Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) and Euclid data sets, to produce shared “derived data products” (DDPs). This working group, the DDP-WG, will recommend a science-driven initial set of DDPs which would be shared promptly and simultaneously with both the Euclid Consortium and all Rubin Observatory LSST data rights holders for scientific use, in a way that protects the unique science of each collaboration while at the same time respecting the data policies of each one. The DDP-WG will take input from both science communities in establishing the recommended DDPs. This DDP-WG will not be deciding how the DDPs will be generated; that process is still to be defined. More information is available at this link.

Information for Project Members

If you find yourself with some downtime during this stay-at-home period, consider tackling the task of updating your affiliations from LSST to Vera C. Rubin Observatory! Here are some places you might still have an LSST affiliation listed: email signature, social media accounts (Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram), GitHub, professional biographies on organization websites, and professional associations, such as SPIE, AAS, etc. We appreciate everyone's help with the ongoing process of updating our name. If you have questions about usage of our new name, please consult the name usage guide at or contact 

Upcoming Meeting with Rubin Observatory Involvement

(those with asterisk* are LSSTC funded):


Postponed: Supernovae Across LSST, Urbana-Champaign, IL*

May 27-28: AURA Management Council for Rubin Construction (AMCR) Meeting, Virtual

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

Sept 23-24: AURA Management Council for Rubin Construction (AMCR) Meeting, Boston, MA

About the Announcement



Logo: Vera C. Rubin Observatory
Logo: Vera C. Rubin Observatory