The largest digital camera ever built, with a 3,200-megapixel sensor, was unveiled recently at. SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in California.
With a height of 1.65 meters, the Legacy Survey of Space and Time or LSST works like the common digital camera, but only much bigger. It has 189 sensors that will take in light emanating from objects like stars and convert it to electrical signals that can be turned into digital images.
Each sensor is a square with sides about 42 millimetres long and packs more pixels than a single iPhone 13. In total, the camera has 3.2 gigapixels and will take images with high enough resolution to see a golf ball from 24 kilometres away. Its largest lens, with a diameter of 1.57 metres, is the largest lens of its kind that has ever been made.
According to LSST Camera project manager Vincent Riot, it will be installed at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory at the summit of Cerro Pachón in Chile by the end of 2024.
Once installed in the Andes mountains, it will catalogue about 20 billion galaxies over the next 10 years.
“The dozens of terabytes of data that the LSST Camera will collect every night will advance our knowledge of the universe, helping researchers unpack the nature of mysterious dark matter and better understand how galaxies are formed,” Riot said.