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UK scientists focus on revealing hidden mysteries of the Universe

Secrets of the Universe are to be revealed by a new telescope equipped with the world's most powerful digital camera.
The Pan-STARRS sky survey telescope - known as PS1 - will enable scientists to better understand the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, the material that is thought to account for much of the mass of the universe but has never been proven to exist.
Astronomers from the Universities of Durham, Edinburgh and Queen's University Belfast together with researchers from around the world are using the telescope to scan the skies from dusk to dawn each night.
PS1's 1400 megapixel camera is the world's largest - with about 150 times as many pixels as the average camera. It is able to gather detailed images of almost three-quarters of the night sky from its base in Hawaii. The project will enable scientists to assess wide areas of sky at a level of detail that was previously impossible.

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Pan-STARRS Asteroid Hunter and Sky Surveyor Now Fully Operational

Astronomers announced today that the first Pan-STARRS (Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System) telescope, PS1, is fully operational. This innovative facility will be at the front line of Earth defence by searching for "killer" asteroids and comets. It will map large portions of the sky nightly, making it an efficient sleuth for not just asteroids but also supernovae and other variable objects.
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PS1 is Up and Running

PS1, the prototype for the four-telescope Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) that the IfA plans to build on Mauna Kea, is again up and running on Haleakala. After several months of downtime to correct flaws in the flexures that support the secondary mirror, the telescope that uses the world's largest digital camera is now taking up to 700 images per night. Since PS1 has returned to observing, more than 900 stationary transient detections have been recorded, including several hundred supernovae, and follow-up campaigns at other observatories are now underway.
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Asteroid-hunting telescope in the repair shop
The first of the asteroid-hunting Pan-STARRS telescopes, the 1.8-metre PS1 telescope, will be taken apart today in an effort to solve problems with image quality.

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A new telescope system will keep watch for killer asteroids from space
In 1908, the skies over Siberia lit up in a sudden and massive explosion: an asteroid, 40 m wide, had entered earth's atmosphere and was breaking up in a multi-megaton burst. Although the asteroid itself didn't make it to the ground, the shock wave and massive fireball that resulted destroyed 2,000 sq. km of forest, laying waste to the ground below. The Tunguska Event, as it's called, took place in a remote area, so no human lives were lost. If the blast happened over Toronto, London or Shanghai, it would be another story.

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A new telescope system featuring the world's largest digital camera will significantly increase the ability to find space rocks as it begins operation in Hawaii this month, scientists say.
The telescope system will have a wide view of the sky and features a camera that reduces blur in images so that scientists can examine them for signs of asteroids that have moved from one image to the next. The telescope is part of a years-long survey of the sky for asteroids and comets that could pose a threat to our planet.

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Asteroid camera uses 1.4 gigapixel detector from MIT
The challenge presented by the Pan-STARRS camera is its exceptionally wide field of view. For wide fields of view, jitter in the stars begins to vary across the image, and an OTCCD with its single shift pattern for all the pixels begins to lose its effectiveness. The solution for Pan-STARRS, proposed by Tonry and developed in collaboration with Lincoln Laboratory, was to make an array of 60 small, separate OTCCDs on a single silicon chip. This architecture enabled independent shifts optimised for tracking the varied image motion across a wide scene.

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Silicon chips developed at MIT Lincoln Laboratory are at the heart of a new survey telescope that will soon provide a more than fivefold improvement in scientists' ability to detect asteroids and comets that could someday pose a threat to the planet.
The prototype telescope installed on Haleakala mountain, Maui, will begin operation this December. It will feature the world's largest and most advanced digital camera, using the Lincoln Laboratory silicon chips. This telescope is the first of four that will be housed together in one dome. The system, called Pan-STARRS (for Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System), is being developed at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy.

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The latest and most ambitious to detect 'near-Earth objects' (NEO) is the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS.

A joint venture of the University of Hawaii, a number of other schools and the U.S. Air Force, Pan-STARRS is today testing a telescope mounted with the finest digital camera in existence, which boasts a resolution of 1.4 billion pixels.
When Pan-STARRS is fully operational several years from now, it will have four telescopes, each with a 1.4-gigapixel camera.
That will give Pan-STARRS a wider, faster and more-powerful view into space, and will enable it to meet its mandate of tracking virtually all NEOs larger than 300 meters in diameter as well as many smaller NEOs.

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Pan-STARRS is designed to see deep into space and repeatedly survey the sky to track potentially dangerous near-Earth asteroids and other moving objects.
On Monday, for instance, according to NASA, a boulder called 2007 RF2 will pass within 3 million miles of the Earth, a near miss in the realm of astronomy. The rock, travelling at a whopping 46,000 mph, is between 715 and 1,430 feet in diameter, about 10 times the size of the object that created Meteor Crater in Arizona about 50,000 years ago.

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