NOVAC Public Meeting, 12/10/23, 7:30pm EST

Join NOVAC as we welcome Dr. Sandrine Thomas, Project Scientist and Deputy Director for Rubin Observatory Construction.  Dr. Thomas will be updating us on the development and construction progress of the Rubin Observatory and share the anticipation of grand, new discoveries that will be coming soon.  The Rubin Observatory, an idea which began in the early 1990s, will soon push our understanding in all areas of astronomy and astrophysics – from the mysteries of dark matter to a more comprehensive understanding of our own solar system.

This NOVAC meeting will be held VIRTUALLY ONLY via Google Meet.  

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Presentation Details:

Talk Title: The Vera C. Rubin Observatory: Goals and status


The Vera C. Rubin Observatory (Rubin Observatory) represents a monumental endeavor in astronomy, designed to conduct a comprehensive 10-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) of the southern sky. The LSST Survey will enable countless discoveries in a wide range of astronomical research including dark matter, solar system, time domain astronomy and many others.

The Rubin Observatory is the combination of an 8.4-m telescope, a 3.2 gigapixel camera and a sophisticated data pipeline and it is now in the final stage of construction/commissioning in Chile.  In the last couple of years, every single part of the observatory has gone through tremendous progress. The telescope is fully populated with its components except for the glass mirrors.  The LSST Camera is undergoing final performance testing before being shipped to Chile and the data pipeline is ready to receive and reduce the first on-sky images. Meanwhile, the Education and Public Outreach team has paved the way to operations by successfully finishing construction and started implementing their full program, including citizen science. 


Dr. Sandrine Thomas has been Telescope and Site Project Scientist for Rubin Observatory since April 2015. In January 2022 she also assumed the role of Deputy Director of Rubin Construction (NSF). Her past experience has gravitated around adaptive optics and planets detection instrumentation, both from space (UARC/NASA Ames Research Center), the ground (Gemini Planet Imager for Gemini Observatory) and the Laboratory for Adaptive Optics.  At Rubin Observatory, Sandrine also serves as a Workplace Culture Advocate, introducing and supporting initiatives that improve Rubin’s workplace culture and foster a respectful and inclusive environment.

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