(Large Synoptic Survey Telescope)
The LSST is a mapping telescope planned to be built in the mountains of Chile, with construction being completed around the year 2020. It utilizes a wide lense to take a snapshot of the entire night sky once every few days. It will make an effort to map out smaller objects in the local solar system, including Kuiper Belt objects and near-Earth asteroids. In addition, it will make an effort to map out the entire Milky Way and make progress in finding out more about dark matter. The telescope itself is 8.4 meters in diameter and will use an extremely large digital camera to capture high quality images, 49 times the area of the moon. All of the images created by the telescope will be placed in the public domain, allowing anyone and everyone to view the images to their heart’s content.
Location of the Telescope
This is a concept image of what the telescope will look like when completed.
This is the unveiling of the M2 Substrate, one of the large mirrors to be used in the LSST.
This is an illustration of the projected final telescope.
- It will be located in Chile, alongside two existing telescopes, the Gemini South and the Southern Astrophysical Research Telescopes.
- The LSST will be taking pictures of the cosmos, so the spectrum it works in (320 - 1020 nm) is just above and below that of the visible light spectrum (typically 390 - 700 nm).
- The camera it will use will be extremely advanced, and capable of taking very high quality images of the entire night sky.
- The area where the telescope is being built is extremely dry and above the normal haze that accompanies the area in the summer.
- The project has funding by Bill Gates, and will get a large $400 million grant in 2014, when the construction will begin.
- The goal will be to find traces of dark matter and energy, along with mapping out the solar system more accurately and the entire Milky Way eventually.