Space news (March 27, 2016) –
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)
High up on a wind-swept Cerro Pachon ridge in the foothills of the Andes Mountains in north-central Chile construction on site facilities for a new breed of telescope started in July 2014. Called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), the next-generation telescopic system being constructed will take more than 800 panoramic images each night during a ten-year assignment to map the visible sky. Its mission to create an animated, three-dimensional motion picture of the universe and reveal secrets of the cosmos.
From its normally deserted mountaintop site approximately 60 miles (100 km) inland by road from La Serena, the LSST will survey the night sky, recording the entire visible universe in its wide field-of-view twice each week. Capable of detecting faint objects as much as 10 million times fainter than can be seen with the human eye, this new breed telescope will peer into the darkest mysteries confounding modern astronomy. From the location of dark matter to the properties of dark energy to the formation and evolution of the Milky Way to tracking near-Earth asteroids that could change our way of life forever.
The public will also take part in the science goals of the LSST and learn new things about the universe as astronomers discover them as never before. Citizen scientists will extend the science goals of the LSST, gain knowledge, and skills. Students in classrooms across the nation will be engaged to take part in science programs, gain skills, and astronomy knowledge. Promoting astronomy research, awareness of LSST programs, and public participation in the human journey to the beginning of space and time.
Construction at the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope site is scheduled to finish sometime in 2020 and full science operations to begin sometime around 2022. One of the most important events in the future of ground-based astronomy, the night the LSST begins scanning the sky, a window peering into unknown regions of the cosmos opens.
Watch this YouTube video on the LSST.
Learn more about merging supermassive black holes.
Learn more about the LSST.
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