Published on September 17th, 2012 | by Steven Hodson0
Scientists Take First Pictures Of Space With Huge 570-Megapixel Dark Energy Camera
While most of us are happy to brag about the size of the camera in our smartphones their puny 8-megapixel are nothing compared to a new toy that scientists at Fermilab have to play with.
We might think megapixels are to cat’s butt but when it comes to photographing deep space you really need to step up your game and the DECam does just that by taking pictures in the gigapixel range, 570-gigapixels to be exact. It succeeds in doing this by taking the images captured by 62 individual cameras that are all ‘stitched’ together as one huge sensor.
Every time the DECam takes a picture the cameras team up to capture 2.2 degrees worth of the night sky, which works out to equal the size of a full moon as seen from Earth but twenty times over.
The DECam is currently mounted at the focal point of a 13-foot-wide mirror telescope in Chile and scientists hope that over the next five years of the project that they will be a full eighth of the night sky in full color; and that these images will provide a glimpse into 300 million galaxies, 100,000 galaxy clusters, and 4,000 supernovae.
The primary reason for the project though is to see if they can find the elusive Dark Energy and with some hope of identifying the cause for the acceleration of the expansion of the universe.