Feeds

ESA unveils billion pixel camera that will map the Milky Way

That’s not a camera: this is the camera

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Top three mobile application threats

The European Space Agency has announced the completion of the camera that’s to be used in its Gaia mission: a billion-pixel mosaic comprising 106 individual CCDs in a 0.5x1 meter array.

Assembled in May and June at Astrium’s facility in Toulouse, the camera is designed to map around a billion stars when Gaia’s five-year mission begins in 2013. The CCDs were developed by UK company e2v Technologies, with each measuring 4.7x6cm.

The stereoscopic camera will have two 51-device arrays set at 106.5 degrees to each other, with four CCDs watching over image quality and the offset of the telescopes. The telescopes are divided into four functions, with fields dedicated to star mapping, position and motion (to be captured in 3D), colour and intensity, and spectrometry.

Like its predecessor missions, the Herschel and Planck space telescopes, Gaia will be stationed at the L2 Lagrange point a million-and-a-half kilometres from Earth, where the balance between orbital movement and gravitational forces will let the spaceship "hover". This location means the scientists will get a more stable view than if the spaceship is orbiting Earth.

Gaia will be able to sample 1 percent of the stars in the Milky Way, and is also expected to pick up information about more local objects such as asteroids, right out to distant quasars and “edge-of-the-universe” galaxies.

The mission will be launched on a Soyuz-STB/Fregat rocket from French Guiana.

The European Space Agency has images and a design animation here. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.