decipher the origin of galaxies

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That a picture is worth a thousand words is something that the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has learned well. For some time now, its technicians have been working on the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, better known by its acronym (LSST), a huge synoptic survey telescope that will incorporate the largest digital camera ever created for astronomy, with 3,200 megapixels.

An ambitious tool for an ambitious goal: to expand our knowledge of the universe.

Until now we had been able to learn about the technical details of the LSST and some other infographics and images of its lens, but now those responsible have wanted to go a little further and show us a first photograph of what it will look like with the pieces fully assembled.

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“Although the camera is not yet complete, all its mechanical components are together for the first time in a photogenic structure,” they wrote down days ago their managers.

Your appearance in the clean room SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory it is certainly fascinating. Technicians from the Californian center are now in charge of testing its shutter and filter exchange system, two of the components that have just been installed in the structure.

The objective, detail, is that before the end of 2022 the camera incorporates an updated cooling system —“the latest modification”, they point out—, which will leave it complete and ready for the final tests. The complete calendar to be sent in May 2023 to Chile. There is his definitive home: the Vera C Rubinan observatory that stands on the summit of Cerro Pachón.

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The device data is certainly impressive and gives an idea of ​​its capacity. The powerful camera of the LSST is the size of a car, weighs more than three tons and will offer a resolution of 3.2 gigapixels which, those responsible emphasize, will allow it to provide us with “images so large that it would require 1,500 television screens high definition to see each one”.

His mission is almost as impressive as his ability: he will catalog about 20,000 million galaxies over the next few years, generating a huge amount of information that will expand our knowledge of dark matter and the origin of galaxies.

The camera will be able to view different wavelengths, will incorporate 189 CCD sensors —charge coupled device— now that its gigantic main lens is larger, it will incorporate two other 1.2m and 72cm lenses. Shaping the telescope has not been easy either. To get the gigantic prime lens from the Tucson center where it was made to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory facility, the team had to organize a 17 hours by truck.

Images: Veran C. Rubin Observatory

That a picture is worth a thousand words is something that the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has learned well. For…

That a picture is worth a thousand words is something that the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory has learned well. For…

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