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Greg Stewart/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Rubin’s LSST Camera is Complete

April 3, 2024
SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory celebrates the completion of the largest camera ever built for astronomy and astrophysics

Vera C. Rubin Observatory is excited to announce that the team at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has finished building the 3200-megapixel LSST Camera, which will soon be shipped to Chile and mounted on the telescope inside Rubin Observatory. This camera is the largest ever built for astronomy and astrophysics, and it took two decades of work to complete. The LSST camera is the size of a small car, and it will take images so large that you’d need hundreds of ultra-high-definition TVs — or about 1200 iPhone screens — to view just one at full size!

The LSST Camera will be mounted at the center of the Simonyi Survey Telescope inside Rubin Observatory, and it will take enormous images of the southern hemisphere night sky, over and over again for 10 years. Scientists will use the data from these images to learn more about dark matter and dark energy, the Milky Way, our Solar System, and things that move or change in the night sky.

Now that the camera is complete, the team at SLAC will carefully pack it in a custom shipping container and send it to Chile, where the camera will be driven (very carefully!) to the summit of Cerro Pachón. After testing in a special clean room inside the Observatory, the camera will be installed on the telescope later this year.

You can read more details about this amazing camera in the official press release from SLAC, which also contains links to photos and video. Congratulations to our team at SLAC on this historic achievement!

Read the press release

Watch a video about how the camera will work in Rubin Observatory

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