After 9 years, work on the Super Camera for Astronomy was completed
| Astronomy/Physics

After 9 years of work, scientists and engineers from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have achieved this The construction of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) camera has been completed.. The 3,200-megapixel instrument will be installed at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory, which is expected to become operational for the first time in January next year. The extraordinary camera will take an image every 20 seconds with an exposure time of 15 seconds and over a period of 10 years, and will provide a huge amount of data that will allow a better understanding of dark energy and the study of dark matter, the Milky Way and the solar system. Taking into account technical outages, inclement weather, and other interruptions, LSST must deliver approximately 200,000 images per year.

Jacqueline Ramcier Aurel/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The aforementioned 3200MP resolution is so high that it will allow you to record a golf ball from 25 kilometers away. The camera uses 201 CCD sensors of 16 megapixels each. Each pixel is about 10 micrometers wide, and the whole thing is very flat. Violations do not exceed 1/10 of the thickness of a human hair. Thanks to these small pixels and this flat surface, it is possible to take images with extremely high resolution. The camera, combined with the mirror capabilities of the Vera C. Rubin Observatory Telescope, will allow recording objects that are 100 million times brighter than the minimum brightness required for the human eye to notice them. The camera's front lens is more than 1.5 meters in diameter, the largest lens ever made for an astronomical camera. The second lens, which is a meter in diameter, is intended to correct any errors in the first lens and also seal the vacuum chamber in which the CCD sensors are located. It will operate at approximately -100°C, which will help reduce interference.

The study of dark matter and dark energy is an important part of modern physics. A better understanding of the fundamental laws of physics requires us, more than ever, to look deeper into space. Thanks to the LSST camera, the Rubin Observatory will look into the depths of space and help us answer some of the most difficult and important questions in modern physics.“This is a huge problem,” says Cathy Turner, director of the Department of Energy's Cosmic Frontiers Program.

When the LSST camera arrives at the Simonyi Survey Telescope on Cerro Pachón in the Andes, it will locate and measure the brightness of a large number of objects in the night sky. Scientists will draw many useful conclusions from this data. They will primarily look for signals of weak gravitational lensing, which will allow them to better determine the distribution of mass in the universe and the evolution of this distribution over time. This, in turn, will help us understand how dark energy drives the expansion of the universe.

After 9 years, work on the Super Camera for Astronomy was completed

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