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1.4 Billion Pixel Camera To Watch For Asteroids

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the one-last-hawaiian-vacation dept.

Space 138

SpaceSlug writes "The world's largest digital camera is to be used to keep an eye out for asteroids heading towards Earth. The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) has been built by researchers at MIT's Lincoln Lab. At its heart is a 1.4 billion pixel (or 1400 megapixel) camera that will scan the night sky looking for rogue near-Earth objects from atop Mount Haleakala in Maui Island, Hawaii. The system uses something called an orthogonal transfer CCD to remove atmospheric blur from images."

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So how many .. (1)

OzPeter (195038) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888435)

Gigapixels is that???

Re:So how many .. (4, Funny)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888487)

1.41 jiggapixels, panning at 88 arcseconds per hour.

Re:So how many .. (4, Funny)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888513)

When this baby hits 88 arcseconds per hour, you're going to see some serious shit.

Re:So how many .. (2, Funny)

Rayban (13436) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888537)

One point four jiggapixels? One point four jiggapixels?? Great scott!

Re:So how many .. (1)

Sethumme (1313479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892091)

1.21
one point twenty one

No DeLorean for you!

Re:So how many .. (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892135)

Yeah, but I decided to keep the joke closer with the actual story. Also, you're not going to be keeping up 88 arcseconds of panning per hour against the sky, considering the speed that the earth rotates.

Re:So how many .. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25888587)

enjoy da pron:

http://mrfriendly.freehostia.com/

Re:So how many .. (1)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889231)

Gigapixels is that???

...and in Libraries of Congress???

Re:So how many .. (1)

koalapeck (1137045) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889963)

What I really want to know is how much data that is, but please reference the amount of data in relation to library's of Congress.

To fully fund the project year round (5, Funny)

deft (253558) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888439)

You just need to point her down at the beaches of Hawaii a few times a year and capture some of the scenery.

can you say gigapixelboobs.com?

Re:To fully fund the project year round (4, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889333)

It's looking for asteroids. If it was a British telescope it would be looking for arseteroids.

Re:To fully fund the project year round (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889519)

Here's a sidelong view of the nipple [thetoptensite.com] . I'd link to a photo of the whole boob, but it'd melt your video card.

Re:To fully fund the project year round (1)

Extremus (1043274) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890045)

It looks like a VERY old nipple, I should say.

Re:To fully fund the project year round (1)

UNKN (1225066) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891383)

Video card? The whole boob would light my router on fire.

Re:To fully fund the project year round (5, Interesting)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889673)

http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=5322 [gigapan.org]

5.3 gigapixel image of Hanauma Bay in Hawaii.

Re:To fully fund the project year round (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25891569)

http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=5322 [gigapan.org]

5.3 gigapixel image of Hanauma Bay in Hawaii.

Wow, the image of Hanauma Bay caught images of ghost walking up and down the steps to the right, headless body and bodyless heads floating, hehehehe.

Re:To fully fund the project year round (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25891799)

http://gigapan.org/viewGigapan.php?id=5322 [gigapan.org]

5.3 gigapixel image of Hanauma Bay in Hawaii.

Fantastic! I have made four observations:

  • While this appeals to my voyeur side, I find the lack of attractive women disturbing.
  • There appears to be a man with very attractive female-looking legs and a third arm growing out of his hip near the lower right edge of the sandy beach area.
  • Look near the second guard station and the pavilion, photographic proof that we can detach our upper bodies from our legs. Interestingly enough, his shadow is in one piece.
  • I have the same stroller as the woman near the third guard station, Graco Quattro Travel System, the style named Bermuda. We like it.

Re:To fully fund the project year round (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25892395)

They cut that poor man in half.

Re:To fully fund the project year round (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25892053)

I'm buying that domain, pronto

1.4... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25888443)

One point four jigga-pixels! Great scott!

Singularity (0, Offtopic)

Sybert42 (1309493) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888465)

You have to remember that the Singularity will happen soon. Any calculations of risk must be compared with the time to Singularity. Any asteroid hit must only be compared to the effect on progress to the Singularity.

Re:Singularity (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25888641)

Aaaannnd... that's the story of why I removed the karma "Subscriber Bonus +1"

Re:Singularity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889055)

Yeah, singularity, you mean your existence??

Pending Doom (5, Interesting)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888477)

So now we will be able to see asteroids that could slam into our planet and possibly end life, but then what? Hit it with a missile or go Armageddon style on it?

Re:Pending Doom (1)

Kagura (843695) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888499)

Our response depends on how soon it'll impact our planet.

Re:Pending Doom (4, Insightful)

Last_Available_Usern (756093) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888661)

The problem with illiciting action is proving risk. No ones going to mitigate a one in a million possibility. However, if you find some near-Earth objects that you can show have a 25% chance of hitting the Earth in the next 50 years, you might see a lot more development in the way of mitigation (or disaster planning at least).

Re:Pending Doom (5, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888983)

For starters, it's worth worrying about asteroids that would merely destroy a city rather than end life as we know it. And, if you spot them early, there are a number of techniques that could deflect them. With plenty of time to work, small changes in velocity can cause large changes in position years in the future -- turning an impact into a near miss. This is especially true if there is a close approach to another body before the impact, as small changes in position at the approach turn into larger changes in velocity.

If you only need a tiny course correction, there are plenty of options. A gravitational tug, for example (put a spacecraft near the asteroid, use ion engines to maintain position, and let gravitational forces pull the asteroid toward the ship, and vice versa). That lets you use an ion engine to nudge the asteroid without solving the problems of landing on it or grabbing it. If you can get away with even less total impulse, you can simply paint a large portion of it white and let light pressure from the Sun do the work for you.

Things like large rocket engines and nuclear blasts are crude, blunt instruments; if you have warning, a more subtle approach is appropriate.

Re:Pending Doom (4, Insightful)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889319)

With plenty of time to work, small changes in velocity can cause large changes in position years in the future -- turning an impact into a near miss.

Or, given the fact that even the most advanced prediction algorithms still have to cut some corners (therefore leading to some uncertainty), it could turn a near miss into an impact.

Re:Pending Doom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25890079)

Isn't nearly missing the same as impacting? If it misses it should be called a near hit. Apologies to George Carlin. :)

Re:Pending Doom (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891247)

not to quibble too much, but isn't a near miss a hit?

Re:Pending Doom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25892397)

you can simply paint a large portion of it white and let light pressure from the Sun do the work for you.

Heresy! I see an asteroid and I wanted it painted white?!!! NO!!! Obviously it needs to be painted black!

Re:Pending Doom (5, Funny)

east coast (590680) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889327)

Hit it with a missile or go Armageddon style on it?

As long as it gets rid of Bruce Willis it's a win-win situation.

Re:Pending Doom (1)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889615)

As long as it gets rid of Bruce Willis it's a win-win situation. And keeps Liv Tyler, and I become her for a day, and go jogging all day holding a mirror in front of me.

Re:Pending Doom (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891279)

Liv Tyler? You must be new here: the celebrity that is kept has to be Natalie Portman (petrified in hot grits).

Re:Pending Doom (1)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892571)

The celeb thing in these posts started with the movie Armageddon, which is why I referred to Liv Tyler.

Re:Pending Doom (1)

Falkkin (97268) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889781)

The book "Death from the Skies" by Phil Plait has a lengthy chapter devoted specifically to asteroid impacts and how we might consider avoiding them. The missile idea is a bad one, as the individual fragments will still hit Earth and quite possibly do more damage than the original asteroid due to immediately affecting an even wider area. A couple more promising ideas are gravitational deflection (park some other massive object nearby and allow the new object's gravity to slowly move the asteroid off a collision course) or putting a rocket on the asteroid and giving it some thrust in a harmless direction. Of course, the best strategy depends on how far ahead of time we know about the possible impact, and of course the sooner we know about it the "easier" it should be to avoid it. So building huge cameras like this is one of the more significant things we can do to prevent a possible Death from the Skies.

Re:Pending Doom (1)

nasor (690345) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890555)

The usual point of the "missile idea" isn't to destroy the asteroid, but merely to alter its course. A 1 megaton bomb detonated 1 km from an asteroid will impart about 300 megajoules/square meter of asteroid. That should be more than enough to vaporize a layer along the outer surface, which will dramatically later its course. In terms of simplicity, nothing competes with nuking the asteroid. A gravity tug is clever and all, but it assumes that you can match velocities with the asteroid and then maintain your position relative to it. That's a lot more complicated than simply getting your asteroid-diverting probe "within a km or so". Actually landing some sort of engine on it would be even more difficult.

Common Nomenclature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25888481)

Is that a 1.4 Bigapixel camera?

Damn (2, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888493)

Damn, now it means that when my brother-in-law sets his next camera to maximum resolution (as he always does), I'm going to get 50gb image files.

Re:Damn (4, Funny)

qwertphobia (825473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889017)

Martin? Bro? Is that you? I have a question for you:

why does the internet get slow every time i send you pictures?

What? The're in space? (3, Funny)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888569)

Last time I looked, Asteroids was at the local bowling alley. Do I win a prize? Do these youngster space explorer types need any more investigative help? All the comets they need are under my kitchen sink! there! ba da bing! Oh, my neighbor guy has Saturn in his driveway! But if you guys need help or a camera to find Uranus... damn, I'm out!

Blah... (0, Offtopic)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888579)

Wake me up when Apple puts it in the next iPhone.

Kodak moment (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888583)

Well, it's almost as good as what the NSA uses to spy on you with. Aren't you glad we have our priorities straight in this country?

Re:Kodak moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25888643)

Apparently girls can have paranoid delusions too.

Re:Kodak moment (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889065)

He's not a girl, he's in training to be a girl. (s)he does have a valid point, though. It's only flamebait if you're NSA or a rabid neocon. It is, in fact, pretty much how spy satellites work -- just take a Hubble, change the focus, and point it down.

Re:Kodak moment (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889157)

Umm, I am a girl... and yes that is how spy satellites work, except that they are a lot smaller because they don't need to capture as much light to get an exposure.

Re:Kodak moment (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889483)

I kid. Sorry. I wasn't kidding about the moderation though, your comment was by no means flamebait.

When you complete your training you'll have to change you slashdot ID!

Re:Kodak moment (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889899)

Yeah, I've thought about that. I usually pretend to be a boy on most forums because it makes life so much easier, but my friends convinced me that I was just giving in to sexism by doing that. I work with computers, and most of my female friends are either lesbians or bi, so you can imagine how it is with them. I'm "in training" because I'm a tomboy... grew up in the country, moved to the city and got taken in by lesbians and tomboys. :) I'm trying to be more femme, hence the nick.

Re:Kodak moment (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890213)

That makes sense. I think your friends are right.

Are you trying to learn to be more feminine to attract men? Because if you are, you're hanging around with the wrong ladies. They're not going to have a clue about femininity. It would be like me having a gay man try and teach me how to be "butch" and attract women.

I happen to like tomboys.

Re:Kodak moment (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890941)

No, I'm not doing it for men. ;)

Re:Kodak moment (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891713)

I suspected that from the description of your friends =)

Re:Kodak moment (1)

UncleTogie (1004853) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890049)

I've always wondered how they train those lady-types. I wonder, are there formal courses? I can jus' picture it:

"How to Confuse Your Significant Other 101"
"Bathroom Herd Instinct" {this one explains how and why women across any venue can detect ONE lady whispering "I have to go to the bathroom" in a voice quieter than a mouse fart, how they pack 20 women into a two-stall bathroom, and what to talk about.}
"Cattiness for Profit"
"Instant Headache Summoning 101"

Did I miss any?

Re:Kodak moment (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891097)

seeing you tell people that you are actually a girl makes me laugh-- every week.

Re:Kodak moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889161)

Careful what you say. The NSA might mod you down

Re:Kodak moment (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889619)

Or Pudge ;)

Re:Kodak moment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25888805)

O shit, NSA, NaSA, they are in kahootz!! Time to revolt!!!!!!!

Re:Kodak moment (1)

SlashSnot (647926) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889075)

Pretty sure your priorites are straight. As is your tin foil hat across your brow.

In need of perspective? (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888619)

Not sure if there is much "blue shift" that can be detected from a near-earth object, such as an asteroid. So, maybe we should put two up there to add a little perspective, sensu Grover.

Re:In need of perspective? (1)

boris111 (837756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888757)

I'm no astronomer, but I believe you can triangulate objects based on the earth's position around the sun.

Re:In need of perspective? (1)

wjh31 (1372867) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889053)

yes, but to do that you have to wait for the earth to move to the other side first

Re:In need of perspective? (2, Informative)

JayAitch (1277640) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889453)

Maybe for very far objects outside the solar system, but for these objects the earth moves a significant distance within a day. Backyard astronomers do this all the time.

Re:In need of perspective? (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891231)

all the way to the other side? that seems a bit far fetched, why couldnt they just wait till it moves 1* - that would be about a day. and you'd still have 3 points to make a triangle ;)

Re:In need of perspective? (4, Informative)

Darth_brooks (180756) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888769)

Asteroid hunting doesn't really have anything to do with blue or red shifting. You're not looking to see whether a distant object is moving towards or away form you. More likely, they're looking at dots. Specifically, which dots in picture A moved in comparison to picture B and which one didn't.

Think of it this way: Step out at night and look at the stars and whatever planet happens to be in view. Now, step out the next night at precisely the same time (ok, to be fair, a couple minutes later) and look again. The stars are in the same spot, but the planet has moved.

With high-res digital cameras you can take very precise pictures, then let software pick out which of the faint dots are distant stars, and which maybe be asteroids. It's a pretty standard way of discovering and plotting the course of the various odds and ends floating around our solar system.

Re:In need of perspective? (1)

Assassin bug (835070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889267)

Upon further reflection, and with your succinct description, I think I understand. Obviously, stereoscopic view isn't needed to track orbits, most telescopes are monocular. One just needs to see something moving (e.g., a tool-bag in orbit [spaceweather.com] ). I guess for some reason the impression of an object heading straight at the lens came to mind, which is clearly, well silly.

So how many...? (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888627)

So just how many near Earth objects come from atop Haleakala?

Can it capture UFO license plate numbers? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25888691)

I gots to know

Re:Can it capture UFO license plate numbers? (5, Funny)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889007)

UFOs by definition don't have visible license plates. If it had a license plate it wouldn't be unidentified, now would it?

Re:Can it capture UFO license plate numbers? (2, Funny)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889773)

Except if you can't read the plate, it remains unidentifed. Hence the need for this camera.

Re:Can it capture UFO license plate numbers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889155)

The space police will love this if it can.

Those damn aliens going faster than the speed of light, totally breaking the law.

What happens if they crashed into a planet?
WON'T ANYONE THINK OF THE PLANETS?!

It's a bird! It's a plane! (2, Informative)

yogibaer (757010) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888737)

No, it's a lost toolbag! So many practical applications for things lost in space.

Re:It's a bird! It's a plane! (1)

tripdizzle (1386273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888941)

LOL, i could have imagined her screaming, "Oh noes, a $100,000 bag of tools is floating away from me at a snail's pace, wtf do I do!!!!!!!"

Re:It's a bird! It's a plane! (1)

SaDan (81097) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889481)

Clearly they need harpoon guns in space.

Re:It's a bird! It's a plane! (2, Insightful)

MaxwellEdison (1368785) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889509)

Anyyone aboard the ISS who goes "Oh noes" should immediately be sent out of the airlock, sans suit.

Astronomy Magazine (2, Interesting)

Neuropol (665537) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888747)

I think i just read some thing about this in Astronomy Magazine from earlier this year. The sensitivity and rapid ability to shoot large areas in a short amount of time will allow for this telescope to scan and record the entire Hawaiian skies every 3 days in search of Asteroids, Supernovae, and other phenomenon.

Blurred summary (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888867)

The system uses something called an orthogonal transfer CCD to remove atmospheric blur from images.

Shoddy. "Something called?" Come on, guys, this is supposed to be "news for nerds". If you can't find it on wikipedia, use google.

orthogonal transfer CCD (OTCCD) [harvard.edu]

We have designed and built a new type of CCD that we call an orthogonal transfer CCD (OTCCD), which permits parallel clocking horizontally as well as vertically. The device has been used successfully to remove image motion caused by atmospheric turbulence at rates up to 100 Hz, and promises to be a better, cheaper way to carry out image motion correction for imaging than by using fast tip/tilt mirrors. We report on the device characteristics, and find that the large number of transfers needed to track image motion does not significantly degrade the image either because of charge transfer inefficiency or because of charge traps. For example, after 100 sec of tracking at 100 Hz approximately 3% of the charge would diffuse into a skirt around the point spread function. Four nights of data at the Michigan-Dartmouth-MIT (MDM) 2.4-m telescope also indicate that the atmosphere is surprisingly benign, in terms of both the speed and coherence angle of image motion. Image motion compensation improved image sharpness by about 0.5'' in quadrature with no degradation over a field of at least 3 arcminutes. (SECTION: Astronomical Instrumentation)

Why not standard OIS? (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891167)

Reading this my question would be why they don't use the movement technology used in optical image stabilization for digital cameras (video and still) which has been around for quite a long time... some techniques move a lens, which is the last element before the sensor, up and down while others move the sensor up and down (which still counts as OIS it seems). I would assume that in order to achieve its goal OIS is capable of movements accurate to a pixel width or less but perhaps it isn't that good? Or are there other reasons that doesn't work?

And I'll just bet.. (4, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888881)

... the manufacturers only included a 16mb SD card.

A 1.4-gigapixel camera to detect asteroids (3, Informative)

rpiquepa (644694) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888883)

You also should read a story published 4 days ago about this camera by ZDNet. Here is a link [zdnet.com] to this article, which contains several pictures not included in the Technology Review article.

Haha Roland Piquepaille Failed (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25888977)

He links to his own articles in comments because noone wants to see them on the front page anymore.

Don't be fooled by his claim about 'several pictures'; really, there's only two, one of which is a generic photo of a galaxy. The TR article also has a generic picture of an astronomical object.

The only picture Rolly is really offering is at
http://www.blogsforcompanies.com/TTimages/pan_starrs_gigapixel_camera.jpg [blogsforcompanies.com]

Rolly's borrowed photo, and more! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889117)

http://pan-starrs.ifa.hawaii.edu/public/design-features/camera-small.htm [hawaii.edu]

which is two clicks away from one of the links in the story, has lots of photos of the camera, including the one ol' Rolly is using to bring saps to his weblog

This could put pr0n to shame, having 1.4 BILLION (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888917)

pieces of ass, umm, fully-feeling, umm, screen-fulfilling asTEROIDS on display at one time... Talk about "getting your rocks off"....

Dead pixel (1)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25888961)

Watch them still miss the asteroid because it was never detected due to a dead pixel. If Hollywood has taught me anything, the impossible will always happen. I'm not worried though, because it also taught me that the problem will only last a few hours and everything will be solved in the last few minutes.

Re:Dead pixel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889235)

Watch them still miss the asteroid because it was never detected due to a dead pixel.

Or maybe a dead pixel is used to cloak a planet.

Lost a planet, Obi Wan has. How embarrassing. How... em... barrassing.

What kind of lenses? (1, Interesting)

qwertphobia (825473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889087)

I bet it has no practical depth of field, even when stopped down to f/64. Wonder what the pixel density is...

Re:What kind of lenses? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890217)

It is an interesting question, though I'm not going to rtfa to see if they have an overall sensor size. Luckily, when imaging most celestial opbjects the DOF should be pretty insignificant. On the bright side, if an asteroid does come out blurry due to a depth of field issue, we're probably not going to be around long enough to worry about it!

Re:What kind of lenses? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25890385)

At the risk of suggesting something crazy, have you considered that the moon, at 400,000 km, is at infinity for all practical purposes? I'd say that if the asteroids are closer than that, we've already failed to detect them.

Re:What kind of lenses? (1)

michaelwv (1371157) | more than 5 years ago | (#25892023)

It's essentially focused to infinity, which amounts to everything more than perhaps a few hundred miles away (I'm making that last number up a bit; it might be closer). It has 10 micron pixels that cover the focal plane at 0.25 arcseconds per pixel for a total field of view of over 7 square degrees.

Awesome pics (2)

raind (174356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889227)

I don't know about anyone else but I find stuff like this to be really inspiring. Why is that astronomy in general doesn't get more mainstream media coverage?

Oops, we missed one... (1)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889359)

The system uses something called an orthogonal transfer CCD to remove atmospheric blur from images.

Hopefully they've performed some real-world testing to ensure this technology doesn't also remove, you know, ASTEROIDS.

You know.. (0, Redundant)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889393)

They really just want this camera for porn.

Isn't that overkill? (1)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889467)

...if an asteroid is big enough to end life as we know it on earth, are 1.4 gigapixels really necessary?

Re:Isn't that overkill? (1)

trongey (21550) | more than 5 years ago | (#25889699)

640k pixels is enough for anyone.

Sorry, but nobody else had done it yet.

Re:Isn't that overkill? (1)

belthize (990217) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890883)

      Kind of depends on how far away it is.

Belthize

anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25889825)

whoa! this seems very interesting

-cam (http://www.camsdcute.com)

Okay, but is it high-resolution enough to... (1)

NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) | more than 5 years ago | (#25890119)

...see a deep-core drilling team on the asteroid's surface?

Not impressed (1)

Whiteox (919863) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891237)

Imagine that you somehow get to stand on Mars let's say...
What do you see? Well, we don't really know do we? Because ALL OF THE DAMN CAMERAS that Nasa or whomever send up there in the firmament, to the heavenly bodies or the moons are not designed for human vision.
No. The imaging data sent back to terrafirma has to be 'processed' with 'algorithms' before we can see a representation of human vision!
This 'representation' is not accurate, as captions often state that the image in question is made up of various data representing different wavelengths of light that are assembled to create it!
Well I'm not afraid!
I, publicly state, here on Slashdot, that I am extremely disappointed that we don't get human vision of planetary surfaces and cosmic phenomenon.
I for one would very much like to see any asteroid that will obliterate the Earth in full glorious colo(u)r.

There. I said it.
Now I will lie down somewhere.....

MIT built the chips... Hawaii IfA built Pan-STARRS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25891255)

Correcting a slight mistatement in the blurb... Lincoln Labs is supplying the orthoganal transfer array CCDs for Pan-STARRS (nutshell: move charge around on the chip to help adjust for "wobbly" atmosphere. Keep all the electrons produced by a single object together, instead of smeared out.) The system as a whole is being built by the Institute for Astronomy, U. Hawaii.

When I read the blurb, I thought, "Surely Lincoln Labs isn't claiming credit for the project..." That would ruffle a few feathers! And I was right... first paragraph of the article on the Lincoln Labs page correctly attributes IfA.

http://www.ll.mit.edu/news/panstarrs.html

And while Pan-STARRS' high cadence (it will image any particular region of the sky multiple times over several weeks or months) will be great for detecting transient phenomena (asteroids, supernovae, extrasolar planet transits) it will also produce a deep, multi-band all-sky (ok, sky visible from Hawaii) catalog of great use for the rest of astronomy, as well. It's now becoming possible to have a career in astronomy built on data-mining large surveys like this. Sort through a few billion objects to find a few dozen objects for spectroscopic followup...

Wow. (1)

kramulous (977841) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891317)

They just don't have one of these cameras, they have four. Each pixel will be 2 bytes therefore 11.2GB per shot. Exposure times will be 30 seconds, so that is 1.3TB of data generated per hour.

That is going to be some serious number crunching when you need to compare at least two images. You want to finish all that comparison work (possible alignment work as well) before the following night (14hrs?). The data is going to be stored with Microsoft SQL Server. Storing and retrieving images sure, but when it comes to serving for analysis and storing/collating results, it would be a little too slow? How much can you tune a closed source solution on a tight budget as opposed going for one that you can tinker with to gain performance?

1 of 5 stars - Digital Camera (1)

flahwho (1243110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25891657)


Pros: it weighs in at a mere 3.3 tons, might be small enough to fit in your pocket. No plastic lens cap to lose.

Cons: Very expensive, doesn't have a flash, no rechargable batteries. takes awful close-ups, and the battery door latch breaks after a couple uses. The software is impossible to figure out. So i decided to return it. Wal-mart does not have a return policy for this item. I stood in line for thiry minutes only to argue with the lady in customer service. Now I have a useless camera sitting in my living room. Don't Waste your time.
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