The world’s largest camera seeks to decipher the mysteries of the universe

A laboratory in the US is about to complete the construction of the world’s largest digital camera, with a lens 1.65m (5ft) wide and a 3,200-megapixel camera.

The Legacy Survey of Space and Time (LSST) camera is being built by researchers at Stanford University’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory to capture the night sky in never-before-seen detail.

Once completed, the camera will be transported to the Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile, where it will be placed on the Simonyi Survey Telescope.

With a field of view of 9.6 square degrees, nearly 40 times the size of the Moon view from the Landastronomers will be able to capture variations in the brightness of the 37 billion stars within their field of view, as well as other periodic instabilities that have previously been impossible to observe.

Thanks to this, scientists hope that it will provide a new understanding of some of the greatest mysteries of the universe, such as the nature of dark matter.

The camera has already been recognized by the Guiness World Records as the largest optical lens ever built, capable of taking up to 15 terabytes of images every night.

“The Rubin Observatory’s LSST camera is the largest digital camera ever built…it is about the size of a small car and weighs almost 6,200 pounds (2,800 kilograms),” explains the website of the project.

“The LSST camera will produce very high quality data with minimal downtime and maintenance.”

With construction nearly complete, the LSST is expected to relocate to the Chile observatory in May 2023 aboard a specially adapted Boeing 747 cargo aircraft. Its operation will begin the following year, once it is installed.