rubinann23017 — Announcement

Rubin Observatory Digest for 14 November 2023

15 November 2023

Project and Science News

November is Native American Heritage Month, and LGBTQ + STEM day is coming up on November 18th. Rubin celebrates the contributions of all our diverse staff and community members! Contact our Workplace Culture Advocate team if you’d like assistance connecting with resources and allies in the Rubin community, or if you have suggestions for how to make Rubin more inclusive.

On the summit, the Rubin Commissioning Camera (ComCam) was reinstalled on the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) on November 3rd, using the newly-repaired dome crane ComCam had been removed in early August to allow the installation of the M2 cell and surrogate mirror and some additional electronics packaging upgrades for better in-situ maintenance. The recent re-installation (photos here) went about twice as quickly as the initial task, now that the team has its procedures well-established, and they worked extremely well together to achieve a precise and safe installation. Once utilities are fully connected to ComCam, and other tasks completed to allow telescope motion, dynamic testing of the TMA and the Primary/tertiary (M1M3) mirror cell will resume. One of the most important test campaigns is to verify that the M1M3 active pneumatic support system is operating properly under varying gravity vectors and the dynamic forces as the telescope moves.

As discussed at the Rubin Project and Community Workshop in August, the Project has baselined protected silver as the coating for the primary/tertiary mirror (M1M3), which is the same coating used for the secondary mirror (M2). This is reflected in a new set of LSST survey strategy simulations that have been released, “opsim V3.3,” which also contains updated system throughput and includes minor bug fixes and changes to the scheduler. More information is available on 

A new paper, “Rubin Observatory LSST Transients and Variable Stars Roadmap” has been published on IOPScience. Written by members of the Rubin/LSST Transients and Variable Stars (TVS) Science Collaboration, this publication identifies research areas of interest and requirements, and paths to enable them with the LSST.

Rubin in the Media

An article discussing Rubin was recently featured on the Universe Today website. Read “Vera Rubin Observatory Could Find Up to 70 Interstellar Objects a Year” at this link.

Operations Updates

Next year’s Rubin annual meeting (Project & Community Workshop), rather than being fully virtual, is now being planned as a hybrid in-person/virtual meeting with the physical location and exact dates to be determined. We’ll continue to share other details as soon as they are available. We appreciate your patience as our plans to host an exciting and productive scientific meeting evolve.

In preparation for operations and early science, Rubin Observatory would like to consider any outstanding resources needed by those within the Rubin Community to meet their goals. Rubin is issuing a rolling call for existing and prospective recipient groups to identify opportunities for further in-kind contributions that are targeted to meet a specific need. For more information, see the full post on

Personnel Announcements & Opportunities

David McKay joined the Rubin Operations Data Management team as Data Release Production (DRP) Processing Scientist on October 1st. Based at the University of Edinburgh, David will be providing oversight of DRP pipeline operation at the UK (and other), Rubin Data Facilities.

Diego Tapia, who was previously doing contract work for Rubin, fully joined the Rubin team as Junior DevOps Engineer on November 2nd. Diego will help maintain and improve the infrastructure upon which all the observatory software is deployed.

Carlos Morales started work as Early Career Observing Specialist for Rubin on November 2nd. Carlos will support day and nighttime commissioning for the Rubin Auxiliary Telescope (AuxTel) and the Simonyi Survey Telescope at the Rubin facility.

The Data Management team has posted a new position for a DevOps Engineer. More information about this and other positions 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-profit online store.

Upcoming Meetings with Rubin Observatory Involvement

(those with an asterisk* are supported by LSST Discovery Alliance):


November 27- December 1

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

December 11-15

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


January 7-11

American Astronomical Society (AAS243) meeting, New Orleans, LA

January 11

Rubin Town Hall at AAS

January 22-24

What was that? Planning ESO follow-up for transients, variables, and solar system objects in the era of LSST, ESO Garching Germany

March 12-14

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

April 15-19

KAVLI-IAU (IAUS 387) Symposium, “(Toward) Discovery of Life Beyond Earth and its Impact,” Durham, UK

April 16-18

Rubin Joint Operations Review, Tucson, AZ

June 16-21

SPIE Astronomical Telescopes & Instrumentation Meeting, Yokohama, Japan

About the Announcement



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