rubinann23012 — Announcement

Rubin Observatory Digest for 23 August 2023

23 August 2023

Project and Science News

The Rubin 2023 Operations-hosted Project and Community Workshop (PCW) brought colleagues and community together from August 7-11. More than 300 people attended the meeting in person at the University Marriott in Tucson, Arizona, and an additional 160 people registered to participate virtually in plenaries and select breakout sessions. This year’s PCW was the first to be facilitated by the Rubin Operations team after many years of annual meetings organized by Rubin Construction. Read more details about the meeting in a recent news post, and see a group photo in the Gallery.

On August 10th, Rubin Observatory published the first in a series of press releases highlighting different areas of Rubin science. The overall goal for these monthly releases is to familiarize a broad, public audience with Rubin science leading up to first light and the start of science operations. Read “Visitors from Distant Stars: Rubin Observatory Will Detect an Abundance of Interstellar Objects Careening Through Our Solar System” at

Rubin Communications collaborated with the University of Washington’s DIRAC Institute to produce and distribute a press release announcing the first discovery of a “potentially hazardous” asteroid using an algorithm, called HelioLinc3D, developed by the DIRAC team. Read the details at

The Rubin Science Advisory Committee (SAC) welcomed six new members during their meeting at the 2023 PCW. They are: Melissa Brucker of the Lunar and Planetary Lab of the University of Arizona, Katrin Heitmann of Argonne National Laboratory, Henry Hsieh of the Planetary Science Institute, Simona Mei of APC/IN2P3 in France, Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil of Dartmouth, and Ashley Villar of Harvard. A full report from the SAC meeting is forthcoming.

The summit team recently removed the Rubin Commissioning Camera (ComCam) from the telescope mount on August 11th (see a time lapse video). This activity marked the beginning of the next major summit integration achievement: the installation of the secondary mirror (M2) cell, which is the final active component of the telescope. The removal of ComCam is necessary whenever the M2 cell is to be installed or removed since it is mounted within the central hole of the mirror. The next project milestone will be achieved when the M2 cell is installed on the telescope mount in the coming days, followed immediately by the re-installation of ComCam. Photos are available in the Gallery.

Registration is open for a newly announced conference, “Unveiling the Dynamic Universe: Cosmic Streams in the Era of Rubin” which will be held December 11-15 in Puerto Varas, Chile. More information can be found on the conference website.

LSST Discovery Alliance Updates

LSST Corporation has announced a new name: LSST Discovery Alliance. Same organization, new name, with a refreshed mission to maximize the impact of Rubin LSST through support from member institutions, grants from foundations, and donations from corporations and private donors. The organization is committed to changing how science is done, how it’s funded, and who’s at the table. LSST Discovery Alliance will collaborate closely with Rubin Observatory and the LSST Science Collaborations. Watch for a redesigned website and more information about its role in the Rubin LSST ecosystem at

Rubin in the Media:

Rubin Observatory was featured in a recent episode of ¿Cuál es tu Huella? which aired on TVN, the national TV station of Chile. In addition to introducing Rubin to a public audience, the episode highlights AURA’s relationship with the local community in Chile and its commitment to sustainability. Watch the video (in Spanish) on the TVN website.

Operations Updates:

The third phase of Data Preview 0 (DP0.3) containing simulated Solar System catalogs is now available. The DP0.3 data set was generated by members of the Rubin Solar System Pipelines and Commissioning teams, with help from the LSST Solar System Science Collaboration. The DP0.3 data set was installed and made available in the Rubin Science Platform by Rubin Observatory staff. Visit for more details and instructions on how to access the DP0.3 data sets.

Personnel Announcements & Opportunities:

Alisha Funkhouser-Walker joined the Data Production team at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) in February 2023 as a Project Manager. Alisha is currently managing NCSA work for Rubin Construction and Operations.

Murali Kandlagunta joined the Rubin team as SIT-Com Deputy Manager on July 31st. Murali will be helping with SitCom efforts in Chile as well as supporting shipment of the camera from SLAC to Chile at the end of this year.

Alexis Aracena joined the Telescope & Site team on August 1st as a Foreman for Rubin and contractor work, to support the remainder of dome construction on the summit. Alexis will be heading up special projects starting with the installation of the internal flashing and light shields.

Antanasia Jones joined the Telescope & Site team on August 14th as an Electronics Engineer, Antanasia will initially be working on the calibration laser electronics in Tucson, with a trip to Chile in September for familiarization with summit facilities and activities.

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

Info for Project Members:

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 supported by LSST Discovery Alliance):


August 21-25

Joint Status Review, Tucson, AZ

September 6

AURA Management Council for Rubin (AMCR) meeting, Virtual

September 25-29

LSST@Europe5, Poreč, Croatia*

October 16-20

2023 DESC Sprint Week, Carnegie Mellon University

November 5-9

Astronomical Data Analysis Software & Systems (ADASS) conference, Tucson, AZ

November 27- December 1

AURA Management Council for Rubin (AMCR) meeting, La Serena, Chile

December 5-7

Image Sensors for Precision Astronomy" (ISPA) workshop, SLAC/KIPAC*

December 11-15

Unveiling the Dynamic Universe: Cosmic Streams in the Era of Rubin, Puerto Varas, Chile[]

About the Announcement



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