text-only page produced automatically by LIFT Text Transcoder Skip all navigation and go to page contentSkip top navigation and go to directorate navigationSkip top navigation and go to page navigation
National Science Foundation Home National Science Foundation - Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS)
Mathematical & Physical Sciences (MPS)
design element
MPS Home
About MPS
Funding Opportunities
Advisory Committee
Career Opportunities
2013-2014 Distinguished Lecture Series
See Additional MPS Resources
View MPS Staff
MPS Organizations
Astronomical Sciences (AST)
Chemistry (CHE)
Materials Research (DMR)
Mathematical Sciences (DMS)
Physics (PHY)
Office of Multidisciplinary Activities (OMA)
Proposals and Awards
Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
Proposal Preparation and Submission
bullet Grant Proposal Guide
  bullet Grants.gov Application Guide
Award and Administration
bullet Award and Administration Guide
Award Conditions
Merit Review
NSF Outreach
Policy Office
Additional MPS Resources
Advisory Committee Meetings
Career Opportunities
Funding Rates
Budget Excerpt
Other Site Features
Special Reports
Research Overviews
Multimedia Gallery
Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments

Email this pagePrint this page

Press Release 14-095
Taking astronomy to the next level

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope gets funding to begin construction

3-d representation of projected LSST

LSST was the highest-ranked ground-based large initiative in NAS' 2010 decadal survey.
Credit and Larger Version

August 7, 2014

Construction of the highly anticipated Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) can begin now that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has finalized funding. To be located in Chile, LSST is a proposed 8-meter wide-field survey telescope that will image the entire visible sky approximately twice per week, providing an unprecedented amount of information while transforming the emerging discipline of data-enabled science.

LSST was the highest-ranked ground-based large initiative in the 2010 National Academy of Sciences decadal survey in astronomy and astrophysics. The project is a partnership among NSF, the Department of Energy (DOE) and a number of private contributors. Additionally, researchers from around the world, not only the United States and Chile, will provide operational support to facilitate LSST's mission.

"LSST is a wonderful example of NSF leading the way by investing in fundamental science that is often high risk but potentially very high reward," said NSF Deputy Director Cora Marrett. "LSST is an investment in trailblazing researchers and tools and will encourage important international collaboration."

Equipped with a 3-billion pixel digital camera, LSST will observe objects as they change or move, providing insight into short-lived transient events such as astronomical explosions or collisions. It will create detailed maps of the Milky Way and of our own solar system, and chart billions of remote galaxies. Its observations will also probe the imprints of dark matter and dark energy.

"LSST promises to transform the practice of many aspects of astronomy and is an example of NSF once again enabling discovery and innovation," said Fleming Crim, assistant director for NSF's Mathematical and Physical Sciences directorate. "Everyone involved is excited about the opportunity to expand our understanding of the universe--from distant exploding stars to nearby asteroids."

"This is not just another telescope," said Diane Souvaine, vice provost for research at Tufts University and former National Science Board chairman of the Committee on Programs and Plans. "What makes LSST so exciting is a data set that will be immediately available to all U.S. scientists and the general public. Tens of thousands of transient events each night will be available to the entire world, reaching social networks, citizen scientists, and students everywhere. This instrument will leave an unparalleled legacy of data and lives touched."

NSF and DOE share responsibilities over the lifetime of the project. NSF will develop the site and telescope along with the extensive data management system as well as coordinate education and outreach efforts. DOE, through a collaboration led by its SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, will develop the large-format camera. The Republic of Chile, through an agreement with Universidad de Chile, provides the site for the LSST telescope.


Media Contacts
Ivy F. Kupec, NSF, (703) 292-8796, ikupec@nsf.gov
Suzanne H. Jacoby, LSST Project Office, (520) 626-1195, sjacoby@lsst.org

Related Websites
Large Synoptic Survey Telescope: http://www.lsst.org/lsst/
LSST Video: http://www.nsf.gov/news/mmg/mmg_disp.jsp?med_id=75650&from=mmg

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

 Get News Updates by Email 

Useful NSF Web Sites:
NSF Home Page: http://www.nsf.gov
NSF News: http://www.nsf.gov/news/
For the News Media: http://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp
Science and Engineering Statistics: http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/
Awards Searches: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/



Email this pagePrint this page
Back to Top of page