Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) is 10-year long NSF and DOE-funded experiment that will soon begin an unprecedented movie of half of the sky, tracking changes from night to night, and mapping ever deeper into the Universe. In its first year, Rubin’s LSST will map more of the universe at optical wavelengths than all previous maps of the Universe combined. LSST will revolutionize studies of the deep and dynamic universe. With it, astronomers will address fundamental questions of origins - how our own Solar System formed, the history of the Milky Way galaxy, how the Universe changes with time; and questions of nature - what is dark matter and how to describe dark energy.
To enable this revolution, LSST has been developed as more than a telescope. Rubin’s LSST is a full system that will deliver science-ready data products, analysis tools, and computing resources to a world-wide community. These qualities, combined with LSST’s massively open data rights and open-source software, position it to be the most productive astronomy experiment of all time.
The LSST Ecosystem includes (i) the federally-funded Rubin project that is building and operating the LSST, (ii) the self-governed international LSST science collaborations, and (iii) LSST Corporation (LSSTC) - a privately funded, non-profit coalition of member institutions with shared goals and values for LSST (Penn is a member!). LSSTC is establishing a new way of astrophysics to fulfill LSST’s scientific potential. I will give highlights of Rubin LSST’s design and construction status, and will then focus on ways that LSSTC’s philanthropic work and programs are playing a unique role in supporting LSST science, and ways that LSSTC is designing its programs to set a new normal of inclusive participation in astrophysics.