Future projects

LSST Camera’s Unintentional World Records

Jun 28, 2022
In an unassuming tan building, past windswept hills and equipment from the now-defunct B-Factory particle accelerator, scientists and engineers at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) have nearly finished building the world’s largest digital camera for the Vera C. Rubin Observatory’s Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST). Construction began in 2015 and since then, the LSST camera team set a Guinness World Record for the camera’s focal plane, a table-sized array of 189 sensors working in concert to produce the highest resolution digital image ever made: 3,200 megapixels. That’s over 1500 times the resolution of a high-definition television. The team didn’t plan on breaking any world records, but to build a camera that can take thousands of images every night—each one over three billion pixels in size—they sort of had to.

Deciphering the Universe on a Budget: New Worlds, New Horizons, Five Years Later

Jun 19, 2016
Last fall, KIPAC professor Bruce Macintosh managed to make time in his busy schedule of teaching and sleuthing for extrasolar planets orbiting around distant stars to help put together a progress report for a mid-decadal review of what is arguably the most important exercise in his entire field:  The Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey. For the past 60 years, once each decade the astronomy and astrophysics community in the US takes a good, long look in the mirror. During this comprehensive self-assessment, scientists from across the country and around the world come together to hash out issues of scientific priorities and resource allocations, enabling the field as a whole to face the future together.  "This is a good thing," Macintosh says—the democratic process results in a community that is more supportive of the resulting priorities