rubinann24002 — Announcement

Rubin Digest 13 February 2024

14 February 2024

Project & Science News

The fourth in a series of Rubin science releases showcasing Rubin’s upcoming contributions to various areas of astronomy and astrophysics is now available. Read (in English or Spanish) and share “Rubin Observatory will Inspire a New Era in Space Missions without Ever Leaving the Ground,” on

Following the removal of the Primary/Tertiary (M1M3) mirror cell from the Telescope Mount Assembly (TMA) in mid-January, its mass surrogate was re-installed on the TMA to enable dynamic testing towards final verification and closeout of the contract with the Spanish consortium UTE. Meanwhile, the M1M3 cell is now on the maintenance floor of the summit facility where the internal actuator supports and other hardware are being removed in preparation for a final test of the process to coat the mirror. The M1M3 surrogate mirror was washed last week (photo) to prepare for placing it under vacuum in the coating plant for a full-surface coating. This will be done in an automated mode with the final coating recipe to be used on the real glass mirror in late April. 

Version 26.0.0 of the LSST Science Pipelines is now available. More information and links to documentation are on

A Joint Technical Meeting for the Rubin Data Management (DM) and Rubin System Performance (RPF) teams was held February 6-7 at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, CA. The event provided a valuable in-person opportunity for people working on different aspects of Rubin Observatory Construction and Operations to provide updates and discuss details of work across both teams. View photos from the event in the Gallery.

A new category has been added to the Rubin Community Forum (aka All are welcome to advertise their scientific events and opportunities in the Science - Announcements channel.

Random Acts of Kindness Day is coming up on February 17th, and this year Rubin will host an online kindness jamboree! We encourage you to post a note on this Jamboard or in the #rubin-be-kind slack channel to express kindness toward another team member across the Rubin project. The jamboree will be open until the end of February, and we’ll have a random drawing from the people who participate to win a small treat. Winners will be selected March 1st and announced in the following Rubin Digest.

Rubin in the Media:

An article comparing Rubin to a certain luxury sports car appeared in Chilean media in mid-January. Read (in Spanish) “Vera Rubin, “la Ferrari de los telescopios” que operará en Chile la cámara más grande del mundo” at this link

Rubin Observatory was featured in an article in The Guardian on February 5th, titled “State-of-the-art telescope in Chile to offer best view yet of the universe.” Read the story on

“What it takes to build a next-generation observatory,” a recent story in Digital Trends, features Rubin Observatory along with LIGO and SKA. The article discusses factors that influence selecting observatory sites and some of the location-based challenges that Rubin has overcome during construction.

LSST Discovery Alliance News:

The deadline of February 15th is approaching for proposals for the fourth cohort of the LSST-DA LINCC Frameworks Incubator program. More information and the link to submit proposals can be found on the LSST-DA website.

Operations Updates: 

The Rubin Education and Public Outreach formal ed team has been busy facilitating teacher workshops, both online and in various physical locations in the US and Chile to familiarize teachers with Rubin’s suite of online classroom investigations. Read the details about a recent workshop held in Santiago, Chile in this news post.

Please note the upcoming deadline of February 29th to nominate members of the science community (including self-nominations) to serve on the Rubin Users Committee (UC). For instructions and further information please see the call for nominations on

Personnel Announcements & Opportunities

Welcome to Gonzalo Aravena and Kshitija Kelkar, new Observing Specialists who joined the Observing team on February 1st. Gonzalo and Kshitija will work on Cerro Pachón, operating the Rubin Auxiliary Telescope and the Simonyi Survey Telescope during Construction, Commissioning, and Operations. 

Eckhard Sutorius joined the Data Management team as Data Release Production (DRP) Catalogue Manager on January 1st. Based at University of Edinburgh, Eckhard is a new addition to the UK Independent Data Access (IDAC) team, and will be responsible for curating astronomy data headed for the databases.

Sajid Ali Syed joined the Data Management team as Data Management Specialist on January 24th. Based at Fermilab, Sajid will be working to set up, monitor and troubleshoot Rucio, Kubernetes, and related database software installations. 

Information about open positions with Rubin can be found on the Rubin hiring page.

Info for Project Members

Don’t forget, February 22nd will be our “Day in the Life of Rubin” (DITL). Watch for reminders and instructions in email and on Slack to submit photos or videos of your work to be compiled into a montage video for our ongoing series. Past DITL videos are available in the Gallery. This year we especially encourage people to submit short, informal videos (taken vertically with a phone if allowed in your area). 

Safety is a value, check out the new slack channel for non-urgent safety questions and discussion: #rubin-safety

Nominate someone for Rubin’s staff awards program to recognize outstanding performance! More information and the nomination form are available on the Staff Awards page on the Project website (login required).

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): 


February 26-March 1

DESC Collaboration Meeting, Virtual

March 12-14

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

March 12-15

Strong Gravitational Lensing Science with LSST, Oxford, UK

March 18-20

Rubin ToO 2024, Envisioning the LSST Target of Opportunity Program, Berkeley, CA

March 26-29

NSF Research Infrastructure Workshop, Tucson, AZ

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

July 8-12

DESC Collaboration Meeting, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

July 22-26

Rubin Community Workshop (formerly PCW), SLAC Menlo Park, CA 

Upcoming Deadlines:


February 15

Proposals for the LINCC Frameworks Incubator Program

February 29

Nominations for new members of the Rubin Users Committee 

About the Announcement



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