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October 2010  •  Volume 3 Number 3


Project Office News

Participants at the 2010 LSST AHM, Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, AZ

The Project Office welcomes you to the 11th quarterly issue of LSST E-News, where spirits are high but serious, as we regroup after a successful All Hands Meeting, plan for the January 2011 AAS Meeting, and most importantly strategize how to move forward after receiving top ranking in the Astro2010 Decadal Survey. Read More…

Director’s Thoughts on Astro 2010

The major facilities funding process, as illustrated by astrophysicist and viewgraph artist Michael Turner circa 2006.

In August, the Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey “New Worlds and New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics,” convened by the National Research Council for the National Academy of Sciences, ranked the LSST as its top priority for the next large ground-based astronomical facility. This so-called “Astro2010” report is important input to the coordinated planning process at the national funding agencies. We are working with the agencies to move LSST into construction, navigating parallel coordinated tracks at DOE and NSF. Read More…

Galaxies — Constructing the Universe

Deep Lens Survey data, co-added to demonstrate LSST depth.

Galaxies are some of the most spectacular objects imaged by telescopes. Their various forms and sizes, from giant ellipticals to graceful spirals to dwarf and merging galaxies, seem unbelievably distant and large, yet still somehow familiar to us. For galaxy researchers, however, they also reveal the characteristics of elusive dark matter because galaxies are thought to have formed hierarchically around peaks in the dark matter density distribution. Within this framework, astronomers are able to understand the large-scale clustering of galaxies as a tracer of underlying dark matter and of how gas made up of subatomic particles (baryonic matter) cools and collapses to form stars and then how its energy feeds back into the gas to regulate continued star formation. What we don’t have yet is a solid understanding of the basic physics of galaxy evolution. This process is stochastic and so testing the models and developing understanding requires large statistical data sets — such as those LSST will produce. LSST will expand on the power of large surveys such as Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), PanSTARRS-1, Dark Energy Survey, and SkyMapper, as astronomers use its data to figure out the basic physics of galaxy formation and evolution. Read More…

M1/M3 Optical Processing Continues

LSST M1/M3 blank during cell integration and testing, August, 2010

Progress continues with production of the LSST primary (M1) and tertiary (M3) mirrors at the Steward Observatory Mirror Lab. The front surface has been generated and next we move into the grinding portion of the process. Read More…

LSST Soccer — Earthquakes Prevail

LSST Soccer Teams at the 2010 AHM

The gorgeous desert setting of the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain created unusual requirements for the now-traditional LSST All Hands Meeting soccer tournament. Only the modest — but of course perfectly manicured — Brisa Lawn was available as a pitch, so our fearless LSST Soccer League President Jeff Kantor adopted international rules for 3-vs.-3 matches, and Engineer Extraordinaire Victor Krabbendam machined custom lightweighted goals. 18 participants were divided into three teams of six, allowing for rapid substitutions as temperatures rose steeply from the 6AM kickoff until the merciful 7:30AM final whistle. Games were a short 24 minutes, allowing each combination of teams to play each morning, and a three-day tournament allowed time for rivalries to build. Read More…

Collaborator and Teammate: Eric Gawiser

Rutgers professor Eric Gawiser, co-chair of the Large-Scale Structure Science Collaboration Team.

He may be most familiar to LSST colleagues as an expert on large-scale structure and galaxies, but some of us have seen Eric Gawiser track down a soccer ball and pass it off to a teammate with the same fervor he brings to his research. Read More…


LSST is a public-private partnership. Funding for design and development activity comes from the National Science Foundation, private donations, grants to universities, and in-kind support at Department of Energy laboratories and other LSSTC Institutional Members:

Adler Planetarium; Brookhaven National Laboratory; California Institute of Technology; Carnegie Mellon University; Chile; Cornell University; Drexel University; George Mason University; Google Inc.; Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics; Institut de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique des Particules (IN2P3); Johns Hopkins University; Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology at Stanford University; Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, Inc.; Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; Los Alamos National Laboratory; National Optical Astronomy Observatory; Princeton University; Purdue University; Research Corporation for Science Advancement; Rutgers University; SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory; Space Telescope Science Institute; Texas A&M University; The Pennsylvania State University; The University of Arizona; University of California, Davis; University of California, Irvine; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; University of Michigan; University of Pennsylvania; University of Pittsburgh; University of Washington; Vanderbilt University

LSST E-News Team:

  • Suzanne Jacoby (Editor-in-Chief)
  • Anna Spitz (Writer at Large)
  • Mark Newhouse (Design & Production: Web)
  • Emily Acosta (Design & Production: PDF/Print)
  • Sidney Wolff (Editorial Consultant)
  • Additional contributors as noted

LSST E-News is a free email publication of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project. It is for informational purposes only, and the information is subject to change without notice.

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