The US Department of Energy issued an approval this week to make The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) a reality, which is good news for anyone who loves looking at images from space. This massive telescope will capture the highest-resolution images of the universe ever made, and will provide an online 3D interactive map by 2022.
Planned as a partnership with the National Science Foundation, the LSST is a proposed 27.5-foot-wide, 3-ton structure, about the size of a small car.
The LSST is set to be the world’s most powerful camera, taking shots of the universe with a mind-boggling 3,200 megapixels of detail. The telescope will be located in Chile and will shoot pictures of the entire Southern sky two times per week (equivalent to 800,000 pictures per night).
There will be so much data gathered by the LSST that supercomputers will need to analyze all 15 terabytes of information it brings in per night. The telescope will capture everything from inside the solar system to the edges of outer space.
These images will obviously be very beautiful, but they will also provide astronomers with valuable information about our changing universe, from possibly dangerous asteroids to distant supernovas.
[Photos via: LSST]