Construction Starts for Camera That Will Capture More Galaxies Than There Are People on Earth
Beginning in 2022, the most powerful digital camera ever built will start taking pictures of the southern sky. Over the course of a 10-year mission atop a mountain in Chile, the 3.2 gigapixel instrument is expected to accomplish a feat that might be hard to wrap your mind around. It will record tens of billions of galaxies floating in space–the first time a telescope will have ever identified more of the massive celestial objects than there are people on Earth.
Late last month, the U.S. Department of Energy gave its blessing for researchers to start building the camera that will sit at the heart of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST). The gif above shows the three-ton, small-car-sized camera on the left. Illustrated is the system that slides filters down in front of the 3.2 gigapixel CCD, which senses light and is a digital camera’s version of film. The filters will let the camera record in light wavelengths from the near-ultraviolet to the near-infrared. Learn more and see images below.