The world's first 3.2 gigapixel camera is one step closer to completion

Vera C. Rubin telescope
(Image credit: Rubin Observatory/NSF/AURA)

The world’s largest camera with a 3,200-megapixel sensor is one step closer to being sent to its new home at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile. For the last seven years, scientists and engineers have worked to develop and build a camera that will form the heart of the Legacy Survey of Space and Time telescope and hopefully help us to better understand dark matter and dark energy which make up about 95% of the universe. 

Named after the American astronomer Vera Rubin, the camera of the LSST telescope has now been fitted with 189 science sensors which are placed into specially built, highly precise rafts costing up to $3 million dollars. Each raft is made up of 9 sensors, capable of outputting a 16MP image and four corner rafts enable the telescope to focus and move with the earth's rotation. It took six, long months just to install the sensors which have no more than the width of 5 human hairs between them. One small error during the construction would’ve meant a big setback and a massive waste of money so precision was key.

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.