Not often do we cover digital cameras at Gizmowatch, but when the digital camera at hand is one like this, that’ll not capture your idiotic face, instead, will sometime, when adversity calls, help detect the possibility of an asteroid collision with the mother earth – we just can’t help but share.
Built at Manoa’s Institute for Astronomy in Honolulu at the University of Hawaii, the gigapixel camera has been installed on the Pan STARRS-1 telescope on Haleskala, Maui. While the silicon chips used in the camera are developed in collaboration with Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Astronomer John Tonry justly explains this mammoth mechanism, ‘as a truly giant instrument’. There is no denying the same, as the digital camera is the world’s largest and most advanced digital camera.
The Pan-STARRS project is designed to search the sky for objects that move or vary. With its ability to get an image, that is of 38,000 by 38,000 pixels in size, approximately 200 times larger than the one on any available high-end consumer digital camera, and its trait of extreme sensitivity, which assists it to observe stars that are 10 million times fainter when seen with the naked human eye – the camera sure becomes a key component of the project.
Highs and lows:
We have telescopes like the Hubble up there, to keep us informed of the developments in the space. But how advantageous would it be if we could take the same pictures with better resolution and high speed than the Hubble itself, that too from the ground.
The novel technology has a provision for it; the colossal camera bears a circuitry that does away with the atmospheric adversities, the silicon chips deployed within makes instantaneous corrections for any image shake caused by Earth’s unstable atmospheric conditions. And the ability will surely benefit, because we no more have to risk our astronauts over crafts like the Hubble.
The camera is a multifunctional though complex entity and we know that, it has a gigantic data producing ability, ranging to thousands of gigabytes of data the camera can produce overnight, which also makes it that hard to put to work – hats of to IfA scientists and engineers who have got this thing into action. The large thing will also have significant weather variation, are we set then.