The world’s largest digital camera for astronomy will soon be ready to observe the sky

Credits Olivier Bonin – SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

The recently assembled LSST1 camera is now ready to make the trip from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in the United States to the Vera C. Rubin Observatory2 in Chile, where it will be installed in May 2024. The camera, which has a resolution of 3.2 billion pixels and is the largest ever built for astronomy3, took nearly two decades to create and involved hundreds of scientists across the globe, including a number of CNRS teams4. For the next ten years, the camera will observe the southern night-sky on a daily basis, taking 800 photographs per night, each covering a surface equivalent to 40 times that of the Moon. It has two objectives: to study and create a “static” 3D map of the observable universe, and to monitor “transient” cosmic phenomena.

  1. Legacy Survey of Space and Time. ↩︎
  2. Named after the American astronomer Vera C. Rubin, who was the first to establish the presence of dark matter in galaxies. ↩︎
  3. This project is led by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DoE) SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, operated by Stanford University in California. ↩︎
  4. From the IN2P3 Computing Centre (CNRS), the Marseille Particle Physics Centre (CNRS / Aix-Marseille Université), the Astroparticle and Cosmology Laboratory (CNRS / CEA / Université Paris Cité / Observatoire de Paris), the Annecy Laboratory of Particle Physics (CNRS / Université Savoie Mont-Blanc), the Clermont Auvergne Physics Laboratory (CNRS / Université Clermont Auvergne), the Subatomic Physics and Cosmology Laboratory (CNRS / Université Grenoble Alpes), the Nuclear Physics and High Energy Laboratory (CNRS / Sorbonne Université / Université Paris Cité), the Institute of Physics of the 2 Infinities in Lyon (CNRS / Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1), the Laboratory of the Physics of the 2 Infinities Irène Joliot-Curie (CNRS / Université Paris-Saclay / Université Paris-Cité), and the Montpellier Universe and Particles Laboratory (CNRS / Université de Montpellier). ↩︎

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