Massive 3,200MP space camera can snap a golf ball 15 miles away

An absolutely massive digital camera sensor array destined for installation in the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile has snapped the world’s first single images with a resolution of 3,200-megapixels, setting a new milestone achievement for space exploration and digital photography technologies. According to the experts behind the camera, the array of imaging sensors are so powerful and the resulting images are so massive that they can clearly display a golf ball photographed from a distance of around 15 miles.

Called the Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST), the camera will eventually be installed at the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, where it will spend the following decade capturing insanely high-resolution images of the Southern sky. One full panorama will be captured with the camera every few nights, according to the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.

In an announcement on Wednesday, the lab revealed that the very first 3,200-megapixel single-shot and record-breaking digital images were captured using the LSST camera. The resulting images have such a massive resolution that if they were to be viewed at their full size, SLAC says it would take 378 4K UHD displays to fully show a single image. That’s hard to imagine, so the team has provided another example of the size.

The LSST’s huge 3,200-megapixel images can show a high-resolution image of a golf ball on the ground captured from a distance of around 15 miles above the ball. This imaging technology will pave the way for a variety of new space observations, helping astronomers learn more about the universe around us.

Talking about the imaging achievement, LSST Camera project manager for the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Vincent Riot said, “This is a huge milestone for us. The focal plane will produce the images for the LSST, so it’s the capable and sensitive eye of the Rubin Observatory.”

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