Funding – secured. Department of Energy approval – checked. The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope is ready to enter the first phase of construction.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope or LSST will be, upon completion the world’s largest and most performant camera. Not for commercial use, but to survey the sky every night and capture images at the best resolution yet with the 3.2 gigapixel digital camera.
Imagine captures of sky portions 40 times larger than our own Moon in high definition.
The initial launching of the project was estimated in 2019. Since then, the project has been delayed until 2020 and now it is expected that it will prove its capabilities start early 2022.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will be built by the enthusiastic team of the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory of the Stanford University. Upon its completion, it will be the most powerful tool yet used to capture images of our galaxy, the universe, celestial bodies even under very poor light conditions.
By means of comparison, the LSST will be able to snap images at a resolution about 400 times higher than the camera of an iPhone 6 or 1,500 times higher than that of a HD television.
The SLAC team stated:
“LSST will generate a vast public archive of data—approximately 6 million gigabytes per year, or the equivalent of shooting roughly 800,000 images with a regular 8-megapixel digital camera every night, albeit of much higher quality and scientific value”.
As the building phase is completed, the LSST will be reigning atop the Cerro Pacho mountaintop in Chile. It is from this vanguard point that it will keep the southern sky under scrutiny every night, collecting in time the largest database of information and images on stars, galaxies, asteroids and whatever it happens to spot.
The data will be made public, and during the ten year period envisaged for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope mandate. Every year, it is estimated that 6 million gigabytes worth of data will be stored in the public archive.
Photo Credits: noao.edu