"We're here today to focus on the major renaming of the facility after a pioneering astronomer, that is intimately tied to one of the key focus science areas for this project," Ralph Gaume, Director of the National Science Foundation's Division of Astronomical Sciences, said during the event (the 235th meeting of the American Astronomical Society). "I'm pleased, very pleased, beyond how much you all know and may recognize, to today officially rename the LSST observatory as the Vera C. Rubin Observatory."
Gaume's comments were met by applause from the gathered astronomers. Observatory director Steve Kahn and other team members soon donned T-shirts sporting the new name.
The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is a federal project run by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy. Its first 10 years of work will be dedicated entirely to a project now known as the Legacy Survey of Space and Time. "Because we know you're all in love with the four letters LSST, we figured out a way to preserve that," Gaume said.
If I understand correctly, the telescope formerly known as LSST is now the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, but the acronym has been reincarnated.
What exactly is the LSST then? The article says that it is a project known as the Legacy Survey of Space and Time, but what exactly is a "project"? Is it the title of a proposal, or a financial instrument for assigning research funds, or something for business cards and letterhead?
A photo of astronomer Vera Rubin. (Image credit: NOAO/AURA/NSF)