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January 6, 2021

Vera C. Rubin Observatory: Opening a Window of Discovery on the Dynamic Universe

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is a new kind of telescope. Currently under construction in Chile, it is being built to rapidly survey the night-time sky. Compact and nimble, the LSST will move quickly between images, yet its large mirror and large field of view—almost 10 square degrees of sky, or 40 times the size of the full moon—work together to deliver more light from faint astronomical objects than any optical telescope in the world. The LSST's combination of telescope, mirror, camera, data processing, and survey will capture changes in billions of faint objects and the data it provides will be used to create an animated, three-dimensional cosmic map with unprecedented depth and detail , giving us an entirely new way to look at the Universe. Plans for sharing the data from LSST with the public are as ambitious as the telescope itself. Anyone with a computer will be able to view the moving map of the universe created by the LSST, including objects a hundred million times fainter than can be observed with the unaided eye. The LSST project will provide analysis tools to enable both students and the public to participate in the process of scientific discovery.

Credit: Rubin Observatory/NSF/AURA

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