3.2 Gigapixel Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) Generates 6000 Terabytes of Image Data Per Year

By: | January 25th, 2015

Plans for the construction of the world’s largest-ever digital camera, dubbed the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), have reached a major milestone. This revolutionary facility will help solve some of the biggest mysteries in astronomy and produce an unmatched wide-field astronomical survey of our universe.

The LSST will produce an image of the entire southern sky every three days, whereas the Hubble Space Telescope would take 120 years to accomplish the same.

More About LSST

Construction of this $700 million telescope will be done on a mountaintop in Chile’s Atacama Desert. Unlike most telescopes, which can take only snapshots, the LSST is a wide-field survey telescope and its camera will scan the heavens continuously in wide swaths. Thus, this is the world’s most powerful sky-mapping machine.

With its world’s-largest 3,200-megapixel digital camera, supercomputer, giant data processing capabilities, and analysis and distribution system, LSST is likely to make unexpected discoveries.

The LSST will have an 8.4 m primary mirror and will operate at wavelengths from 320 to 1060 nm. Composed of 189 tiled 4k x 4k CCD sensors, LSST data will reveal a new sky.

LSST will be fully operational by 2021. The best part is that the data and images of LSST will not be restricted to scientists but will be shared with the public as well.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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