Wide, Fast, and Deep: Why SLAC is Building the World's Largest Digital Camera

Speaker: Michael Baumer

Time: 5:30 pm June 22nd, 2016

Location: Kavli Building (51), Third Floor Conference Room

Abstract

In the first of a series of summer lectures on the science we work on here at SLAC, I will discuss SLAC's flagship contribution to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST): a 3.2 gigapixel camera, which, when complete, will be the world's largest. Mounted on an 8.5m telescope in the Chilean Andes, the LSST camera will open a window to understanding the astrophysics of stars and galaxies, as well as the cosmological mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, with unprecedented precision. Previous astronomical surveys have had to choose between covering large areas of the sky (wide), frequently re-imaging the same sky patch (fast), and detecting ultra-faint objects (deep). LSST leverages several game-changing technologies, including thick red-sensitive CCDs, fast segmented readout, and active optics control, that will allow it to be the first survey to do all three simultaneously, imaging the entire Southern sky in only 4 nights. Come learn how SLAC is working to boldly go where no camera has gone before!