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World's Largest Digital Camera Ready to Watch and Map the Heavens

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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 surveys.

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 PS4.

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posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 08:15 AM
I think its interesting that it's paid for by the US Air Force, yet the photos will be viewed by everyday citizens, kinda puts a damper on the people who say the Airforce is in cahoots w/ the shadow goverment hiding the existence of UFO's.

posted on Jun, 26 2010 @ 11:44 AM
reply to post by ATLien

They will release the data to the public in 2013.

All of the data, images and catalogs, taken by PS1 for the PS1 Science Mission, funded by the member institutions of the PS1SC, will become public at the end of the PS1 Mission (2013). One percent (or 30 Terabytes) will be made public as the survey progresses.

[edit on 26-6-2010 by InvisibleObserver]

posted on Jun, 27 2010 @ 04:05 PM
Here are a few photos from PS1, I would post them here but they have a copyright on them. The images are zoomable, just click on them and you will find the zoom feature on the bottom of the image.

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