The Camera is in the Building!

Image credit: Olivier Bonin/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Hello friends,

I hope your spring has been positive, and that you got a chance to experience the Solar Eclipse in April and the historic Northern Lights showing a couple weeks ago!

I’m excited to share that the LSST Camera has arrived at the Rubin summit in Chile! The official word came late yesterday that the camera made the flight from California, and was driven up the observatory a few days ago. This is the last major component of the Rubin Observatory, and it will soon be integrated into the Simonyi Survey Telescope to begin calibration and testing. We at DiRAC, UW Astronomy, and the whole Rubin/LSST community are thrilled to see the hardware finally on site!

As you know, this is the largest digital camera of its kind ever created, and will be in near-constant use for a decade as we search the sky for asteroids, supernovae, and the unknown unknowns! As the first test data starts to arrive, and with Survey operations starting next year, I am SO EXCITED to see the discoveries that will rewrite our textbooks. 

Beyond software and science development, we’re busy recruiting and continuing to build the team that will make these groundbreaking discoveries possible at UW.  We are in the midst of grant writing and fundraising to allow us to bring a new cohort of diverse and energetic scientists to Seattle, and I invite you all to continue to be involved in this journey with us. 

Finally, thank you for your support and enthusiasm over the past 6 years.  I am always so heartened to see how many people share our vision to understand the Universe through data.

Keep looking up!

Jim Davenport

Associate Director, DiRAC