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Internet-Observatory to Provide Movie-like Window on Universe

Lsst_rendering_vk_3 "LSST is truly an Internet telescope, which will put terabytes of data each night into the hands of anyone that wants to explore it. The 8.4-metre LSST telescope and the 3-gigapixel camera are thus a shared resource for all humanity — the ultimate network peripheral device to explore the universe."

Bill Gates -Microsoft co-founder.

The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, partially funded by $30 million from Microsoft founders Bill gates and Charles Simyoni, the developer of Word and Excel, is projected for ‘first light’ in 2014 in Chile's Atacama Desert -the world's Southern Hemisphere space-observatory mecca. The 8.4-meter telescope will be able to survey the entire visible sky deeply in multiple colors every week with its 3-billion pixel digital camera. The telescope will probe the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, and it will open a movie-like window on objects that change or move rapidly: exploding supernovae, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids and distant Kuiper Belt objects.


‘What a shock it was when Galileo saw in his telescope the phases of Venus, or the moons of Jupiter, the first hints of a dynamic universe,’ Simonyi said. ‘Today, by building a special telescope-computer complex, we can study this dynamism in unprecedented detail. LSST will produce a database suitable for answering the wide range of pressing questions: What is dark energy? What is dark matter? How did the Milky Way form? What are the properties of small bodies in the solar system? Are there potentially hazardous asteroids that may impact the Earth, causing significant damage? What sort of new phenomena have yet to be discovered? ’

The telescope will be constructed on Cerro Pachon, a mountain in northern Chile. Its design of three large mirrors and three refractive lenses in a camera leads to a 10-square-degree field of view with excellent image quality. The telescope’s 3,200-megapixel camera will be the largest digital camera ever constructed.

The project, known as LSST, exemplifies characteristics Simonyi and Gates have exhibited in their careers — innovation, excitement of discovery, cutting-edge technology and a creative energy that pushes the possibilities of human achievement.

LSST is designed to be a public facility. The database and resulting catalogues will be made available to the public with no proprietary restrictions. A sophisticated data management system will provide easy access, enabling simple queries from individual users. The public will actively share the adventure of discovery.

The wide-field imaging telescope now known as the LSST was originally designed at the UA by Regents’ Professor of Astronomy Roger Angel. UA astronomer Philip Pinto is responsible for simulating the telescope’s operation to develop new scientific strategies and to ensure that the instrument works as intended. The UA was one of the four founding members of the LSST Corporation in spring 2003.

The project has received two major gifts: $20 million from the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences and $10 million from Microsoft founder Bill Gates. The gifts enable the construction of the project’s three largest mirrors. Production for the two largest mirrors is now underway at The University of Arizona’s Steward Observatory Mirror Lab.

Posted by Casey Kazan.

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Source: The University of Arizona






That is awsome, I would love to have that on my pc so I can see space, cool!

sounds like something google would have done

Thank you Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences and Bill Gates for this fantastic window into the world.

Really cool idea, I can handle random Windows crashes and BSODs if it in turn means a 3,200MP telescope available to the general public. That's just too freakin unreal..

Space has so much cool stuff to observe and learn from. The potential advancements in our understanding of so many various topics is astounding. Also, on the same note as nani, I wouldn't be surprised if Google tried to negotiate something or heck, even just started using the publicly available data in one of their services. Google Sky??

thats great mr bill gates, but how the fuck am i downloading terabytes of data per night with my shitty cable modem. fix that first, then we'll talk wacky telescopes.

Why hate Gates? Google needs competition or else it's going to "do all evil".

The observatory is beautiful. How public can that place get? Public for whom?

By the way, when does it start being accessible online?

What a great vision! This will bring us more information than anything since Hubble. Thanks Bill.

What a great vision! This will bring us more information than anything since Hubble. Thanks Bill.

I hope that they use torrents spread the info to everyone, it will help remove the stigma associated with such a useful means of data transfer.

Let's just hope it doesn't get the blue screen of death!

Seriously though, this telescope sounds wicked cool, props to Bill G., especially for being cool with this bit:

"The database and resulting catalogues will be made available to the public with no proprietary restrictions."

Simply amazing! How very generous of them. I love how it's completely open and non proprietary. After all, I'm sure Bill could've finagled some sort of MS powered exclusivity deal attached to that large contribution of his.

One small chunk of change for Gates, one huge leap forward for man-kind.

Cool beans, it's about time we have something like this in all reality. We are so advanced in some areas of sciene, technology, and sophistication.

In some sectors of important science and tech research, they're still relying on out of date equipment, low budgets, and crappy resources.

I sure would like a 3 gigapixel camera.

Space the final frontier

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