posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 08:00 AM
Avid sky watchers and photographers alike will be jealous of this baby. The new PS1 telescope located atop of Hawaii’s dormant Haleakala volcano on
Maui Island, went into full time and full scale operations on May 13, 2010. The PS1 telescope went online in December 2008, to test out what they had
over the 2 years before going into full time dusk to dawn operations last month. The PS1 telescope is the first of several telescopes planned as part
of the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS. This project is a collaboration between the University of Hawaii Institute
for Astronomy, Maui High Performance Computing Center, Science Applications International Corporation, and MIT Lincoln Laboratory, along with helping
funds from the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The telescope construction is funded by the US Air Force.
The PS1 telescope boasts being the world's largest digital camera, taking a whopping 1,400-megapixel shot of a section of the sky as large as 36 full
moons every 30 seconds. One of these images would produce a 300dpi print covering half a basketball court. The telescope gathers enough data to fill a
thousand DVDs (around five terabytes) every night and maps a sixth of the sky each month. PS1 can see objects ten times fainter than in previous
The main purpose for PS1 is to look for killer space rocks that may threaten earth, along with looking for other phenomena in space, such as supernova
explosions or cosmic cataclysms, black holes, planet size bodies in our solar system and other solar systems, and to hopefully discover entirely new
kinds of space events.
Having completed the PS1 telescope, Pan-STARRS Project is now focusing on building PS2, and then a full array of four telescopes, sometimes called