The U.S. Department of Energy has green-lit the construction of a 3.2-gigapixel digital camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). Once complete, the instrument will be used by astronomers to study everything from the Big Bang to the motions of nearby asteroids.
It's being billed as the widest-looking, fastest-shooting, deepest peering telescope on Earth. Or at least it will be when the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope comes online atop a remote Chilean mountain top in 2032. The LSST, combining cutting-edge optics and massive computing power, will scan huge swaths of the…
We may be on the verge of an astronomical renaissance. Once complete, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope hunt for dark energy and matter throughout the Southern sky from its perch atop Cerro Pachon in Chile while producing a staggering 60 petabyte public data archive. Now, we just need to figure out how to pay for it.
So just how much can a digital camera the size of a Hyundai see? Hopefully, if you're the Stanford team building it, enough to answer some fundamental questions about our galaxy.