New Director to Oversee Construction of World's Most Powerful Observatory

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The Vera C. Rubin Observatory Construction project named Dr. Željko Ivezić, a member of the International Scientific Council of the University of Rijeka in Croatia, to be its project director. Ivezić has been part of the program since 2018 when the institution named him Deputy Director in charge of data management, education, and public access.

The National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy plans to build the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in the mountains of Chile at the cost of $700 million. As the director, Ivezić will lead the project office, present the project to the scientific community, international partners, and other interested groups. He also plans to manage working conditions, oversee compliance with all international legal regulations and procedures, and mentor younger colleagues.

Owners expect the high price of the observatory to pay for itself in ten years with the 60,000 terabytes of images that it will collect. Recorded telescope and camera images will give a sky map with about 20 billion stars and almost the same number of other galaxies.

"It really is incredible, the kind of work that is possible with at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory," Dr. Željko Ivezić told reporters. "We have a chance to map the sky in much more detail than would be possible in any other observatory or any other location currently available; this is truly a moment that will define our generation."

Vera C. Rubin acted as an American scientist in the 60s and 70s. His calculations of star movements around the centers of galaxies showed that, in addition to visible matter in space, there also must be so-called dark matter.

Ivezić took over the role of director on January 3, 2022, succeeding the current director, Steve Kahn.

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