The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is a USA financed observatory under construction in Chile. With first light in 2023, it will undertake the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), imaging a large fraction of the available sky every few days. The results are expected to revolutionize our understanding of many aspects of astronomy, including small solar system bodies, transients and variable stars, dark energy and dark matter. They will also be synergistic with various South African facilities, including SALT and MeerKAT.

The results from the LSST will be freely available to scientists in the USA and Chile and to selected individuals elsewhere whose communities are contributing in some way to the LSST or to enabling follow-up observations for US and Chilean astronomers. Thanks to contributions from SAAO and several individual South African scientists, plus some funding from NRF and DSI, South Africa is able to appoint up to ten Principal Investigators (PIs), several of whom have already been appointed, together with their associated Junior Affiliates (students, postdocs and early career scientists).

The South African LSST Programme is managed by the South African LSST Committee through the SA Program Lead and the Program Manager, who are based at SAAO.

New South African PI opportunities will be offered competitively in the next year or so. Enquires should go to the Program Manager.


South Africa is making various contributions to the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. Find out more.


There are currently six South African LSST Principal Investigators. Find out more.


The South African LSST Programme is managed by the South African LSST Committee. Find out more.