Skip to content

New Science Grant Expands Opportunity for Astronomers to Explore Potential of Vera C. Rubin Observatory

Twilight photo of Rubin Observatory taken in April 2021. Photo credit: Rubin Obs/NSF/AURA.


The Heising-Simons Foundation is pleased to announce a grant of just under $900,000 to provide scientists in astronomy with the opportunity to kickstart research programs in time for the highly anticipated opening of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in 2024. The grant is managed by Las Cumbres Observatory (LCO), a global robotic telescope network dedicated to time domain astronomy.

The goal of the Rubin Observatory project is to conduct the 10-year Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). As stated in LCO’s announcement, “[t]he Observatory will survey the southern sky more efficiently than ever before, probing all types of time-domain phenomena, and it will take advantage of modern data processing capabilities to generate alerts of new discoveries in real-time. This revolutionary facility will open up new opportunities to study a wide variety of transient and variable astrophysical phenomena.”

The Heising-Simons Foundation’s grant will enable a broad community of astronomers from around the world to explore the potential of the Rubin Observatory for galactic, stellar, and Solar System science, through the work of Science Collaborations groups that are dedicated to these topics. Specifically, the grant covers the costs of publications in scientific journals, hosting meetings and workshops, providing access to software tools and platforms, and funding small science grants to researchers. Researchers interested to learn more about the program are encouraged to visit the new website Preparing for Astrophysics with LSST.