rubinann20015 — Announcement

Rubin Digest 08 September 2020

8 September 2020

Project & Science News

The LSST Camera team at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has released the first 3200-megapixel digital images taken using the Camera’s full array of imaging sensors. These are the largest images ever captured in single shots, and they are a successful test of the Rubin LSST Camera’s focal plane, which was completed at SLAC in January 2020. An overview is provided in this news item, which includes a link to the images and more details about this exciting achievement. 

A National Science Foundation (NSF)/Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Status Review took place virtually August 31st - September 4th. Members of the review panel congratulated the  Project for good progress made before the COVID-19 construction shutdown, and commented that management has done an admirable job of identifying COVID-19 impacts to the Project and planning accordingly. The review committee noted that prior recommendations have been adequately addressed, and presented some additional insightful recommendations for the Project to focus on moving forward. In closing comments, Rubin Observatory Director Steve Kahn and Rubin Project Manager Victor Krabbendam thanked Rubin staff for their dedication to the Project, excellent accomplishments, and hard work preparing for and participating in this review. Overall, the review panel was very impressed and congratulated the team on the “amazing” work they had done to bring the project to this stage.

Rubin’s LSST Survey Strategy project team has released their report to the Survey Cadence Optimization Committee (SCOC), containing their investigations of survey strategy in response to the 2018 Call for White Papers (and the resulting Science Advisory Council (SAC) recommendations). This report details many families of simulations used to investigate particular aspects of survey strategy; it also includes a set of simulations attempting to optimize different science goals as examples. A few key metrics are described and used to evaluate these simulations; the report is available here. More discussion of this report, the simulations in the report, and the pre-recorded videos describing this work are available on

The report from the Satellite Constellations 1 (SATCON1) workshop, organized jointly by NSF’s NOIRLab and the American Astronomical Society (AAS), has been delivered to the National Science Foundation (NSF). SATCON1, held virtually from June 29th to July 2nd, focused on technical aspects of the impact of existing and planned large satellite constellations on optical and infrared astronomy, including the science planned with Rubin Observatory. More than 250 astronomers, engineers, commercial satellite operators, and other stakeholders attended SATCON1; additional details about the workshop can be found on the NOIRLab website.  

Please note that Chilean Daylight Saving Time began at midnight on September 6th; this time change may affect the start times of Rubin Observatory meetings that include participation from Chilean colleagues, so please confirm start times with your meeting organizers.  

A magnitude 6.8 earthquake was recorded in Chile on September 1st, affecting the regions of Antofagasta, Atacama, Coquimbo, Valparaiso, and Metropolitana. Shortly after the first quake, a second earthquake (magnitude 6.2) was detected in approximately the same area. A team from Rubin Observatory was scheduled to do a regular inspection of the summit facility on Cerro Pachón the following day. They paid particular attention to infrastructure that might have been affected by the earthquakes, and found no significant damage. Photos from this inspection are available in the Rubin Gallery

The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA)/Rubin Observatory awards ceremony for 2020 was held virtually on August 27th. These annual awards recognize the exemplary work of Rubin individual staff members and teams during the previous year. The ceremony, which was translated into Spanish in real time for Rubin colleagues in Chile, also highlighted AURA staff members who have reached milestone years of service with Rubin Observatory. The award winners for 2020 are listed in this recent news item, and the video presentations are viewable on YouTube in English and Spanish.

Operations News

The Operations team hosted an In-Kind Proposal workshop at the Rubin Project and Community Workshop (PCW), answering questions and identifying resources to support the 36 international teams who submitted Letters of Intent in July. The teams are now preparing their full proposals, which are nominally due by September 25th. Read the most recent update on the proposal process, which includes links to the introductory slides shown at the PCW and the full 55-page “Handbook for Proposal Teams” on

Personnel Announcements

The EPO team is looking for an Astronomy Content Strategist to help create content that promotes awareness of Rubin Observatory and its community, and to help develop EPO’s social media strategy for Operations. Details about this and other open positions are available on the Rubin hiring website

Upcoming Meetings with Rubin Observatory Involvement

(those with asterisk* are LSSTC funded):


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

December 13-18: SPIE Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation Conference, San Diego, CA


Jan 11-15: AAS 237th Meeting, Virtual

About the Announcement



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