rubinann23004 — Announcement

Rubin Digest 14 March 2023

15 March 2023

Project & Science News

This year’s Rubin Project and Community Workshop (PCW), the first PCW facilitated by the Rubin Operations team, will take place the week of August 7-11, 2023, at the Marriott University Park in Tucson, AZ. We hope to make some sessions (plenaries and general-interest sessions) virtually accessible for those who cannot attend in person. This year we will be accepting applications to request childcare funding, made possible by the LSST Corporation and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, and generously sponsored by the Heising-Simons Foundation. Further details about the meeting and childcare funding will be available once the meeting website is live and registration opens.

Over the last few months, the observing team on the summit has been exercising the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) extensively and has taken thousands of images with two StarTracker cameras, mounted on the outside of the top ring of the TMA. These images are automatically analyzed within seconds to pointing and tracking measurements used in the commissioning of the TMA system. While there is still much work to be done, the TMA has operated in a slew-track-slew-track mode for over eight hours without a failure. Through a combination of hardware and software improvements, the team has improved the pointing accuracy from multiple degrees to a few 10’s of arcseconds, and more improvements are expected soon. See photos of the StarTracker cameras and images taken with them in the Gallery.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to stand on top of the Rubin Observatory dome? Check out this video from March 6th, in which Rubin team members Ranpal Gill and Wil O’Mullane are escorted by Fabio Serafin, a technician from the Italian Dome vendor (EIE), on a special trip to the roof of the dome. Additional images are available in the Gallery.

On March 8th, Rubin joined individuals and organizations around the world to celebrate International Women’s Day. Rubin and NOIRLab asked women on staff to record short video clips of themselves speaking a word that represents or describes women for them. The clips were assembled into this montage video, which was shared on Rubin and NOIRLab social media accounts.

The Rubin Science Advisory Committee (SAC) met with various members of Rubin leadership on February 1st. The group discussed the various recommendations the SAC had made at their meeting last August, during the 2022 Project and Community Workshop. The minutes of the February meeting are now available; topics covered include the plans for the Rubin website, doing science using data from commissioning and early survey operations, and the status of the In-kind contributions from various groups outside the US and Chile.

The Rubin Observatory LSST Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) held a meeting on February 27-March 3. DESC typically meets twice per year, with an additional Sprint Week to enable rapid progress on collaborative projects in the fall. The recent meeting, held virtually, had 311 registered participants. The meeting featured plenary talks focused on DESC science progress and synergies with other Rubin science collaborations and other experiments, and parallel session discussions covering multiple working groups. The final day of the meeting focused on onboarding activities, where members could learn about DESC projects, software, or other initiatives and start making contributions. More information about DESC can be found on their website.

Rubin in the Media:

The results of a film crew visit to Cerro Tololo and Cerro Pachón in October 2021 can now be enjoyed in Chile on the third season of the TV series Hijos de las Estrellas, produced by Cábala Films. The program began on March 4th and will air every Saturday for eight weeks on Televisión Nacional de Chile (TVN). After the premiere, every episode will be available in Chile on the TVN website and CNTV Play streaming platform. A trailer for the series is available on Instagram.

Operations Updates:

A Joint Operations Review (JOR) convened by NSF and DOE for Rubin Observatory took place February 28-March 3. In the annual JOR, a committee of external reviewers determines whether Rubin Operations is on track to be ready to operate the Summit and Data facilities and successfully carry out and support the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) for its scientific community. The review committee accomplishes this by assessing whether the Operations team’s plans and activities meet the criteria outlined in a series of charge questions given to the committee by NSF and DOE. In this year’s JOR, members of the Rubin Operations team gave plenary presentations on the first two days of the review, and answered the reviewers’ more detailed questions in the breakout sessions that followed. On the final day, the review committee presented an overview of their closeout report, which included a "yes" to all charge questions, many positive comments, and a very useful set of constructive recommendations to help guide future planning. The full report will be delivered to Operations leadership in a couple of weeks. Thanks to all who participated for their diligent preparation of materials and for timely assistance and flexibility during the review. A group photo is available in the Gallery.

LSST Corporation News

Upcoming deadline reminder: Apply by March 17th for the LSSTC Data Science Fellowship Program (DSFP). The LSSTC DSFP is a supplement to graduate education in astronomy-related fields (e.g. astronomy, astrophysics, cosmology, planetary science, etc.), intended to teach students essential skills for dealing with big data. You can learn more about the program on the DSFP webpage, and apply directly using this form.

Personnel Announcements & Opportunities:

Open positions with Rubin Observatory can be found on the Rubin hiring page.

Info for Project Members:

Rubin Project members, mark your calendars for March 30th, when we’ll collect your workplace photos to assemble into the next “Day in the Life of Rubin” (DITL) video. The DITL series highlights the broad range of activities that go on every day across the Project, this will be the seventh video in the series. Watch for email and Slack messages with a reminder and an upload link later this month. You can see past DITL videos in the Gallery.

If you’d like to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Victor or Zeljko, please fill out this form to indicate your preferred date and time.

There is also an anonymous “suggestion box” for anyone to offer feedback at this link.

Rubin Observatory swag items, including t-shirts, coffee mugs, tote bags, and more, are available for purchase in our not-for-profitonline store.

Upcoming Meetings with Rubin Observatory Involvement 

(those with an asterisk* are LSSTC funded):


March 14-16  SIT-COM & Data ManagementJoint Subsystem Meeting, La Serena, Chile

May 18-19

AURA Management Council for Rubin Observatory (AMCR) meeting, location TBA

June 12-16

Statistical Changes in Modern Astronomy (SCMA) VIII, Pennsylvania State University

July 24-28

Dark Energy Science Collaboration (DESC) Meeting, SLAC

August 7-11

Rubin 2023 Project & Community Workshop, Tucson, AZ

August 21-25

Joint Status Review, Tucson

September 25-29

LSST@Europe5, Poreč, Croatia

Upcoming Deadlines:


March 17 

Apply for the Data Science Fellowship Program (DSFP


Your contributions to the Rubin Observatory News Digest are welcomed. Please email updates or items of general interest to Rubin Observatory News Digest archives and other Rubin Observatory news items are available online at

About the Announcement



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