World’s Largest Digital Camera Scans the Heavens for Danger

Posted by on Monday June 28, 2010 | Uncategorized

The world’s largest digital camera is being used by astronomers and scientists to monitor various space phenomena, including possible "planet-destroying asteroids," according to National Geographic.

The camera is a critical component of the PS1 telescope in Hawaii, and is snapping images of the heavens every 30 seconds at a staggering resolution of 1,400 megapixels per photo.

The images are mapping areas in the sky “as large as 36 full moons – a view 3,600 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope’s main camera.” A 300-dpi print of one of the images would cover half a basketball court. In a full day the camera captures enough data to fill 1,000 DVDs.

Killerasteroid The giant camera not only enables scientists to track near-Earth orbiting asteroids that have the potential to cause major damage if they were to impact the planet (according to Edo Berger, a professor with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, “It provides the best early-warning system we have”), but it also creates the potential for celestial discoveries previously unimaginable.

Scientists are now able to see objects that are ten times fainter than anything registered during previous surveys thanks to the technology the camera offers. Because of its stunning accuracy and sensitivity, scientists anticipate making many new breakthroughs.

“This will take us a long way along the path of charting the heavens, both in space and in time,” Berger said.

— by Cameron Handley

Tags:

COMMENTS

MORE POSTS

Magnum Foundation Announces 2016 Emergency Fund Grants

Posted by on Wednesday March 23, 2016 | Uncategorized

Eighteen photographers from around the world have been awarded the 2016 Magnum Foundation Emergency Fund, a grant that helps independent photographers produce in-depth and creative stories on underreported issues. Grantees were selected by an independent editorial committee from a pool of 140 photographers nominated by 26 international editors, curators, and educators. The grantees are: Poulomi Basu,... More

Edward Burtynsky Establishes Photo Book Grant with Prize Money

Posted by on Friday March 11, 2016 | Uncategorized

Photographer Edward Burtynsky announced this week that he will use a CAD 25,000 ($18,892) award he received to establish a photo book publishing grant for Canadian emerging photographers. The money will support one CAD 5,000 ($3,778) grant per year for the next five years. Burtynsky had received the cash prize from The Canada Council for... More