rubinann21001 — Announcement

Rubin Digest 26 January 2021

26 January 2021

Project & Science News

Rubin Observatory participated in the first all-virtual American Astronomical Society Winter Meeting (AAS237) on January 11-16, 2021. Details about the Rubin Open House, exhibit booth, and special sessions can be found in this recent news item.

On January 19th, the Rubin Observatory Auxiliary Telescope (AuxTel) team resumed on-sky observations for the first time since the summit construction shutdown in March 2020. Observing Specialist Alysha Shugart, who joined Rubin Observatory in November 2020, participated in this observing run. Craig Lage was also part of the summit team after recently relocating to Chile. The onsite observers were supported by a remote team, allowing minor issues to be identified and solved in real time. Telescope pointing and imaging have now been re-verified and the team has begun to obtain spectral data. See a recent AuxTel image here.

The AURA Base Facility in La Serena, Chile, has been completed after more than four years of planning and construction. The final phase of remodeling was completed at the end of last year, with final acceptance taking place on December 28, 2020. Photos of the facility are available at this link

The Rubin science community may be interested in a recent “DeepDrill” Spitzer data release. These Spitzer data will be extremely useful for astronomers working in the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) Deep-Drilling Fields of CDF-S, ELAIS-S1, and XMM-LSS. They were gathered specifically with Rubin LSST groundwork as a central driver. Details and information are available at this link, and the relevant paper is here

The AURA Management Council for Rubin (AMCR) held a productive meeting on January 19-21. The meeting, which lasted three days instead of the usual two, provided an opportunity for Rubin leadership to showcase recent progress despite ongoing limitations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It is with tremendous sadness that we report that John Ku, a member of the Rubin Camera team passed away on January 17th in a motorcycle accident. John played a major role in the development of the LSST Camera over the years, taking charge of the finite element modeling, the design and fabrication of the camera body, and elements of the cryostat. He will be sorely missed, and our hearts go out to his family.

Four staff profiles for January are now featured on the Rubin Observatory website. You can read about Franco Colleoni, Martin Nordby, Ma. Eugenia Ortiz B., and Kevin Siruno at this link.

Operations Updates

On June 30th, 2021, Rubin Observatory will release Data Preview 0 (DP0), the first of three data previews, which will make simulated LSST-like data products available in the Rubin Science Platform (RSP) to Rubin Observatory staff and up to 300 individuals from the science community (“DP0 delegates”, who are data rights holders). The goals of DP0 are to serve as an early opportunity for the Operations team to train with and run the LSST science pipelines and the RSP, and to enable the community to prepare for early science with the LSST. Future data previews, DP1 and DP2, will be based on commissioning data. More details, including dates for an ongoing series of information sessions, are available on

Personnel Announcements

Shuwei Ye joined the Rubin pre-Operations Data Production group on January 1st; he will be based at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Shuwei will be supporting Rubin’s work with the PanDA production system, which is a software suite originally developed for high-energy physics projects.  

Stephanie Deppe joined the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) team, as Astronomy Content Strategist, on January 4th. Stephanie will be developing the EPO strategy for public engagement through social media, and contributing to the creation of content for the EPO website. 

David Jimenez began working with the Telescope and Site subsystem in Chile, as an Electronics Engineer, on January 18th. David will be providing support to integration and commissioning activities at the summit.

Upcoming Meetings with Rubin Observatory Involvement

(those with asterisk* are LSSTC funded):


February 1-5: Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) Meeting, Virtual

May 4-6: AURA Management Council for Rubin (AMCR) Meeting, Virtual

About the Announcement



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