Where is the Largest Camera in the World to Observe the Universe?

To accommodate the world's largest astronomical camera ever built, a place was needed where the sky was clear and clear in order to best observe the universe.

Astronomy Camera Desert Chile
The Chilean desert sky is one of the clearest in the world, allowing optimal observation of the universe.

It is the size of a small car, and weighs 2.8 tonnes. It costs 800 million dollars, the largest camera in the world will begin to explore the universe and take images by the first quarter of 2025. It will be installed on a telescope under construction "and will allow us to scan the sky like never before previously", reveal those responsible for the project financed by the United States.

Instead of studying one star at a time in depth, the LSST (Space-Time Research as a Legacy for Posterity) camera can study billions of stars at the same time, a revolution in astronomy! To do this, it will “scan the sky every 3 days, repeating the movement infinitely” reports France24.

Mapping the Milky Way

Thanks to this high-performance camera, scientists will be able to compile a catalog with very precise images of the solar system, map the Milky Way and learn more about energy and dark matter. The machine is equipped with a 3,200 megapixel digital sensor. A screen will not be enough to observe the captured images.

In total, over 300 mid-sized HDTVs combined are required to play a single image! The telescope which will house the camera is equipped with a mirror 8.4 m in diameter! Within 10 years, the camera will have collected information on 20 million galaxies, 17 billion stars and 6 million space objects.

In the 1960s, when the first Chilean international observatory was installed on Cerro Tololo, the telescope measured only 40 cm! And he arrived "on the back of a mule, because there was no road", laughs Stephen Heathcote, director of the Cerro Tololo observatory (Chile).

A clear sky for observing the stars...

The scientists chose to install the camera in northern Chile. More precisely in Cerro Pachon, 560 km north of the capital Santiago. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is over 8,000 feet above sea level. And is named after the American astronomer who discovered dark matter. This observatory is one of the best astronomy centers in the South American country.

Why Chile? First for the conditions necessary for good star observation, namely: low cloud cover and a dry climate. The place with the purest skies on the planet is in Chile, in the desert areas of the north of the country, between the Pacific Ocean and the Andes mountain range.

Certainly, many other countries have powerful observation devices, such as the United States, Australia, China and even Spain, but "Chile is unbeatable" when it comes to astronomy. The country hosts telescopes from more than 30 countries, among the most powerful in the world (ALLA space telescope and the Extremely Large Telescope which will scan the sky from 2027).

According to the president of the Chilean Astronomical Society, Chile is home to a third of the most powerful telescopes on the planet on its territory. With this ultra-sophisticated machine in addition, the country maintains its position in the field of astronomical observation.