The Department of Energy recently gave the SLAC (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center) National Accelerator Laboratory the authorization to forge ahead in the further creation and development of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. The 3.2-gigapixel digital camera will have the ability to “capture the widest, fastest and deepest view of the night sky ever observed.”
Every week, the camera will survey the night sky, resulting in an extraordinary archive of data available to the public, made up of a projected 6 million GB a year. The photographic device’s quest will allow for scientists to answer unrequited questions concerning space, ranging from dark energy and galaxy structures to dark spatial matter and near-Earth asteroids.
Although the intricate and multifaceted piece of equipment will have 189 sensors and is anticipated to weigh over three tons, the camera must go through further meticulous and comprehensive engineering, designing, scheduling, and budget phasing.
Tony Tyson, the LSST director and a Physics professor at the University of California, released a statement regarding the exciting development.
Not only should LSST revolutionize our understanding of the universe, its contents and the laws that govern its behavior, but it will also transform the way all of us, from kindergarteners to professional astrophysicists, use telescopes.
While the camera’s 8.4 meter primary mirror has already started to come together physically, if all goes well and according to plan, construction of the device itself will promptly begin in 2014.