The size of the images are such that it would take 378 4K ultra-high definition TV screens to display one picture in full size.
Researchers at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park took the first 3200-megapixel digital photos, the largest ever taken in a single shot.
The size of the images is such that it would take 378 4K ultra-high definition TV screens to display one picture in full size. The resolution is so high that a person could see a golf ball from 15 miles away.
The large-sized ultra-high resolution pictures could be captured due to 189 individual sensors spread over a two-foot wide focal plane that dwarfs a standard camera’s 1.4-inch-wide imaging sensor. Each of the sensors bring 16 megapixels to the table – about the same number as the imaging sensors of most modern digital cameras.
The camera will be installed at Rubin Observatory in Chile, where it will produce panoramic images of the complete Southern sky – one panorama every few nights for 10 years.
“This achievement is among the most significant of the entire Rubin Observatory Project. The completion of the LSST Camera focal plane and its successful tests is a huge victory by the camera team that will enable Rubin Observatory to deliver next-generation astronomical science,” SLAC’s Steven Kahn, director of the observatory said.
The LSST camera’s focal plane has a large surface area and the camera is equipped with the world’s largest optical lens that can capture a portion of the sky about the size of 40 full moons.
The goal of the camera is to drive unprecedented astrophysics research and help scientists understand how galaxies have evolved over time. The data collected will feed into the Rubin Observatory Legacy Survey of Space and Time(LSST)- a collection of galaxies and motions of astrophysical objects.
The observatory will use the data to produce the largest astronomical movie of all time to explain some of the biggest mysteries of the universe, including dark matter and dark energy.
The SUV-sized, $168 million camera is expected to be ready by 2021 before it is transferred to Chile.