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Plans to build "the world's largest digital camera" took one step closer to fruition as funding was approved for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope's massive 3.2-gigapixel sensor. The camera, which is part of a telescope to be built in the mountains of Chile, will be the size of a small car and weigh 3 tons. The $168 million funding approval from the Department of Energy is the second "Critical Decision" point to be reached in just half a year. "Together with the construction funding we received from the National Science Foundation in August, it is now clear that LSST will have the support it needs to be completed on schedule," said LSST Director Steven Kahn in a press release.
Once completed, the LSST will image the entire southern sky every few months, providing "the widest, deepest and fastest views" of the stellar region ever captured. Final approval for fabrication of the enormous camera will have to wait until summer, however, after which the labs at SLAC, Lawrence Livermore, and Brookhaven will collaborate on its design and creation.
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