World's Largest Digital Camera to Research the Elusive Dark Matter, Dark Energy

The 3,200-megapixel LSST camera is ready to be transported to the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile to help learn more about the universe and how dark matter and dark energy can affect it. Photo courtesy of Jacqueline Ramseyer Orrell/SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory/UPI

April 3 (UPI) — Scientists have high hopes for a large space camera.

The 3,200-megapixel Legacy Survey of Space and Time camera will reveal what has never been seen before and only existed in scientific theory — dark matter and dark energy.

The US Department of Energy's Office of Science has supported the development of the LSST camera to gain new insights into how natural forces shape the universe.

No instrument has captured evidence of dark matter, but it leaves its mark on the universe by gravitating to how galaxies spin, and is five times more abundant than visible matter. According to the DOE In announcing the launch of LSST.

Dark energy, likewise, exists only in a theory that drives the universe to continue expanding.

About 95% of the mass-energy in the universe is thought to be dark energy and dark matter, which provides theoretical explanations for why stars, planets, and galaxies work. Space.com.

Dark matter does not produce light or energy, making it invisible to existing technology. Scientists have only made educated guesses about what the building blocks of dark matter and dark energy are.

The LSST camera will be placed Vera C. Rubin Observatory Being built in a remote area in Chile. The observatory sits atop Cerro Bachon at 8,900 feet above sea level and has an unobstructed view of Earth's southern sky.

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The camera weighs 3 tons, is the largest camera ever made for astronomy, and uses the highest resolution camera ever, at 3,200 megapixels.

The camera has three very large lenses, the largest of which is over 5 feet in diameter. Each lens is open for 15 seconds, and you can photograph the scene and change lenses in five seconds before taking the next photo.

The camera has six special filters that scientists need to analyze different types of light, including near-infrared, ultraviolet and visible light, to obtain different types of photographic data.

The ultra-high-resolution camera takes photos so detailed that a golf ball can be detected from 15 miles away, while capturing an area of ​​the night sky seven times wider than the full moon.

Two decades of development have gone into designing and building a camera that can take pictures of billions of galaxies and about 37 billion celestial bodies. Scientists will use the camera to create the largest photographic catalog of existing data.

DOE's scientists SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory Led to the development of the camera and helped transport it to Rubin's laboratory in Chile.

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