Opening a Window of Discovery on the Dynamic Universe

First Stone

First Stone

Tuesday, April 21, 2015
The LSST First Stone is unveiled by (L-R) US Ambassador to Chile Michael A. Hammer, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, NSF Director France Cordova, and LSST Director Steven Kahn.

On April 14, 2015, LSST marked a major milestone, with the traditional First Stone (Primera Piedra) ceremony on Cerro Pachón, Chile.

Dr. Beth Willman has accepted the position of Deputy Director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).    She will perform this role as an Associate Astronomer at the Steward Observatory of the University of Arizona. Her appointment will become effective September 1, 2015. See the announcement

Charles Simonyi and Bill Gates have given a spectacular boost to the private fund raising efforts of LSST Corporation with their $1M Challenge Match, a fresh start to the important mission of Enabling Science.

Completion of the LSST M1M3 substrate was celebrated in January at the UA Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The polished mirror has since been relocated to a shipping container for a short journey to a storage facility where it will await a mirror cell and final transport to Chile in a couple years.

Control of the Cerro Pachón summit has been transferred to the Summit Facility Contractor as the pace of construction accelerates. The final sculpting of the site and the forthcoming facility construction are viewable in real time from two webcams linked from the gallery.

The baseline for fabrication of the LSST Camera has achieved a significant milestone, with “Critical Decision 2” approval from the DOE. Other camera developments include the successful demonstration of the final sensors and electronics in a test camera at Brookhaven National Lab and a successful subscale refrigeration system test at SLAC.

The distributed LSST project plans to come together again this year for its annual Project and Community Workshop the week of August 17th in Bremerton, WA. This is an open meeting; details will be posted as they become known at the meeting web page. Project-focused meetings early in the week will be followed by a Cadence workshop at the end of the week.

Read more in the April 2015 issue of LSST E-News

Image Credit: 
Gentileza Presidencia

Financial support for LSST comes from the National Science Foundation (NSF) through Cooperative Agreement No. 1258333, the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science under Contract No. DE-AC02-76SF00515, and private funding raised by the LSST Corporation. The NSF-funded LSST Project Office for construction was established as an operating center under management of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA).  The DOE-funded effort to build the LSST camera is managed by the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC). 


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