World’s largest camera lens arrives safely for assembly into LSST


Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

 
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.


He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

 
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
 

Link here. The lens will be part of the camera used in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), planned for first light in Chile in 2021, and the video at the link showed the moment they removed the shipping container to inspect the lens to make sure it wasn’t damaged during transport.

The lens will next be installed inside the 3.2 gigapixel camera that will be used by LSST, which will do the following:

The LSST will live on a mountain in Chile, where it will use a 3.2-gigapixel camera and some massive optics to capture a 15-second exposure of the night sky every 20 seconds. At this rate, the LSST will be able to image the entire visible southern sky every few nights.

.

I have embedded the video below the fold. This five foot diameter lens is quite astonishing, though the technology that produced it is merely a variation of the same engineering that now routinely produces telescope mirrors 26 feet across.

Hat tip Mike Nelson.

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This year's fund drive is also more important because of the growing intolerance of free speech and dissent in American culture. Increasingly people who don't like what they read are blatantly acting to blackball sites like mine. I have tried to insulate myself from this tyrannical effort by not depending on Google advertising or cross-posts Facebook or Twitter. Though this prevents them from having a hold on me, it also acts to limit my exposure.
 

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4 comments

  • Col Beausabre

    Bob, Any news from Hawaii ?

  • Col Beausabre: Nothing has changed. TMT telescope construction is still blocked by protesters, aided by the Democratic government. I do not expect it to be built in Hawaii, and it is even possible it will never be built anywhere.

  • Col Beausabre

    Bob, Thanks. Looks like Chile might welcome it, though.

  • Col Beausabre: TMT is almost pointless in Chile. Other comparably big telescopes are already being built there, and will see the same southern sky. The goal with TMT was to put it in a spot where it could see the northern hemisphere, which is Mauna Kea. The back up location in the Canary Islands almost does this as well, but has other problems (lower elevation, poorer weather).

    The real problem now I sense is finances. They were not fully funded, and probably won’t get what they need.

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