Preparing for UK involvement in early science with the Rubin LSST

Topic: Observatory Communities

Session Title: Preparing for UK involvement in early science with the Rubin LSST


The Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) will be one of the major pillars of the UK astronomy programme for the next two decades. Its unprecedented combination of spatial, spectral and temporal coverage will enable it to probe the origins of a broad range of astrophysical phenomena, across all areas of astronomy, from Near-Earth Asteroids to the most distant quasars and the dark energy believed to drive the Universe’s accelerating expansion.

After many years’ wait, construction of the Rubin Observatory is complete, and the telescope, camera and associated systems are now being commissioned. The commissioning camera is due to start on-sky observations around the time of NAM2024, with first light for the main camera due in January 2025 and the start of survey operations to follow later next year. We request two two-hour sessions to update the community on the current status of preparations for the start of LSST operations and on UK involvement in them.

These sessions will include an overview of LSST science capabilities, the Rubin Observatory’s plans for Commissioning and Early Science, and the training opportunities being provided by the Rubin Data Preview programme to help researchers prepare for the first LSST data. We will review the technical and scientific contributions being made by the UK to the LSST, both through the STFC-funded LSST:UK Science Centre (LUSC) programme and by those participating in the Science Collaborations as part of their personal research programmes. A balance will be struck throughout between invited talks, from the Rubin Observatory and LUSC team, and contributed talks, especially from Early Careers Researchers, reflecting the range of opportunities for engagement with LSST science. We shall provide information and guidance for UK scientists on how to secure data rights, access the data and carry out science both with the nightly transient stream and the annual data releases.


Bob Mann (Edinburgh)

Stephen Smartt (Oxford) for the LSST:UK Consortium


Session 1: Monday 15th July, 09:00 – 11:00

Session 2: Monday 15th July, 15:00 – 17:00