Pan-STARRS Releases Latest Map Of The Whole Visible UniverseBy Chris Brandt, UniversityHerald Reporter
The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System or Pan-STARRS is a gigantic telescope with the biggest astronomical camera in the world. It has been taking pictures of the heavens for more than four years already and now, the scientists behind it will unveil the pictures to the public.
Pan-STARRS was launched in 2010 with a resolution of 1.4 gigapixels and the objective to look out for transient moving objects in the sky, such as asteroids that might collide with the earth. For more accuracy, the giant telescopic camera was equipped with five different filters as it scanned the sky 12 times using each filter.
The result of those observations resulted in amazing discoveries that came from 3 billion sources in the universe. It found new exploding stars and distant quasars in the distant universe.
Dr. Ken Chambers, Director of the Pan-STARRS Observatories, said that they hope that through the data they collected, scientists, students, and the general public will be able to use this to discover more about the universe.
One of the images they will release to the public is the Static Sky which is really a compressed view of our sky as observed in the Pan-STARRS observatory. Scientists say that the image was based on a half million exposures of 45 seconds each. The image, however, looked weird because it was just a low-resolution representation of the heavens. Dr. Chambers said that if they were to print the full resolution of the image it will be 2.4 kilometers wide. And even with the full resolution, you will still have to use a magnifying glass to see the finest details.
The Pan-STARRS team will also release all the raw data and images that they used to create the map. The data will be available in the observatory's archive which the public can access in May 2017.