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

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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.



  • 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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