Heavy Lifting at Vera C. Rubin Observatory

On 2 March 2021 at Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, the top-end assembly for the telescope was lowered through the observatory enclosure by a giant, 500-ton capacity crane. The top-end assembly holds the 3.5-meter convex secondary mirror and the giant 3-ton LSST Camera. The camera optics consist of three large fused-silica lenses and a set of astronomical filters.  

The installation of the top-end is an important step in the completion of the Telescope Mount Assembly, which will hold and precisely position the 8.4-meter diameter main mirror called M1M3 (which doubles as both primary and tertiary mirror) and the top end assembly. Rubin’s innovative optical design is needed to deliver a whopping 3.5-degree field of view on the sky which illuminates the huge 60-centimeter (2 feet)-diameter flat focal plane filled with sensors totaling 3200 megapixels. Rubin Observatory and its 10 year survey of the sky will shed light on some of the biggest mysteries of the Universe, including dark matter and dark energy.


Rubin Observatory/NSF/AURA

About the Image

Release date:March 3, 2021, 10:55 a.m.
Related announcements:ann21011
Size:4000 x 3000 px

About the Object

Image Formats

Large JPEGLarge JPEG
4.3 MB
Screensize JPEGScreensize JPEG
410.6 KB



405.3 KB
637.7 KB
902.8 KB
1.1 MB
4.6 MB