Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

World’s largest digital camera to change view of the Universe

08.04.2008
Our view of the Universe is about to be changed by the largest and most detailed ‘map’ of the heavens ever produced.

The new ‘map’ was discussed at Queen’s University Belfast, by the driving force behind the construction and operation of the largest digital camera ever created, Doctor Nick Kaiser from the University of Hawai’i.

Speaking at the Royal Astronomical Society’s National Astronomy Meeting at Queen’s, Dr. Kaiser will explain how the first component of the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) is about to change our view of the Universe. By surveying the whole sky visible from the top of a dormant Hawaiian volcano, the Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) telescope will discover a myriad of asteroids, comets and exploding stars. In the process it will create the largest and most detailed map of the heavens ever produced.

“The Pan-STARRS project system has been designed to scan the sky very rapidly and will effectively generate a time-lapse movie of the entire visible sky. It exploits the combination of recent advances in detector and computer technology with the superb image quality obtainable at observing sites in Hawaii,” explained Dr. Kaiser.

The digital camera attached to the telescope contains 1300 Megapixels; the average digital camera in a high-street store has roughly only ten Megapixels. The PS1 telescope also has a field of view equivalent to that of 35 full moons and as a result the images taken by PS1 are of astounding quality and size.

Dr Kaiser added: “The observatory will take up to 1000 exposures per night and will generate mind boggling amounts of data. These will be made available for scientists to study via a revolutionary data archiving system.”

Dr Kaiser will also discuss the telescope’s hunt for dangerous asteroids.

Calculations led by Dr. Robert Jedicke at the University of Hawai’i indicate that PS1 by itself may discover up to five times as many near-Earth asteroids (NEAs) as all other survey telescopes put together.

Starting this summer, astronomers at Queen’s, led by Professor Alan Fitzsimmons of the Astrophysics Research Centre, will start a programme of studying small NEAs that up to now have been difficult to detect.

“The Pan-STARRS project is very sensitive to the smaller asteroids that pass by our planet” said Professor Fitzsimmons.

“Although so-called dinosaur-killer asteroids have been well studied, we know relatively little about the smaller objects. These can wipe out an area the size of Northern Ireland if they hit. We will use the PS1 discoveries to study their properties en-masse.”

Queen’s University is part of a UK consortium (along with Edinburgh and Durham Universities) that has invested in PS1 to support the three and a half year mission. In return Queen’s scientists will be able to study new asteroids, stars, galaxies and supernovae discovered by PS1 over the course of its mission.

PS1 will commence operations later this year, but it is just the beginning. It is a pathfinder for the full Pan-STARRS system that should be ready around 2011-2012. This will comprise four telescopes the size of PS1 and will continuously scan the sky for unknown astronomical objects.

Lisa Mitchell | alfa
Further information:
http://www.qub.ac.uk

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>