New Telescope to Create 150 Petabyte Database of the Universe

Illustration for article titled New Telescope to Create 150 Petabyte Database of the Universe

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) is "a proposed ground-based 6.7 meter effective diameter (8.4 meter primary mirror), 10 square-degree-field telescope that will provide digital imaging of faint astronomical objects across the entire sky, night after night." What's that mean? Well, it means, if it's built, we'll have a telescope attempting to catalog the entire night sky into an absolutely massive 150 petabyte database. Awesome! The LSST isn't slated to open up shop until 2016, but when it does, it'll record a whopping 30TB of data a night by aiming itself into the sky and recording what it sees. It'll be used to "trace billions of remote galaxies and measure the distortions in their shapes produced by lumps of Dark Matter, providing multiple tests of the mysterious Dark Energy." What's more impressive is the setup they'll need to get all that data recorded. Check it:

* the Mountain/Base facility, which does initial data reduction and alert generation on a 25 TFLOPS Linux cluster with 60PB of storage (in year 10 of the survey) * a 2.5 Gbps network that transfers the data from Chile (where the telescope itself will be based) to the U.S. and within the US * the Archive Center, which re-reduces the data and produces annual data releases on a 250 TFLOPS Linux cluster and 60PB of storage (in year 10 of the survey) * the Data Access Centers which provide access to all of the data products as well as 45 TFLOPS and 12 Petabytes of end user available computing and storage.

Pretty amazing stuff. [The Register]

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I would be more interested in applying the data to a holodeck type program. I would bet we could learn more moving through the universe in a 3D space and noting the changes and relationships between the body's.

The data is nice but the plan on how to use it is just as important.