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In the daytime the view from Cerro Pachon, a rocky, desolate peak high above Chile, offers a breathtaking vista of the Andes. Mountains of rock topped with snow and glaciers seem to touch the heavens.
Come nightfall, the Andes disappear into gloom and then the real show begins. As if someone had flicked a switch, the gleam of millions of planets and stars studs the inky blackness overhead.

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Donations of $30 million to the Tucson-based Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project announced Thursday will be used to build the large core mirrors of the instrument, which will continuously scan and capture the night sky with the world's biggest digital camera.
The donations $20 million from the Charles Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences and $10 million from Microsoft founder Bill Gates represent some of the largest fundraising efforts to date for the $400 million telescope, which is expected to see "first light" atop the Cerro Pachón peak in northern Chile in 2014.

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Tony Tyson is the Director of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. His research interests are in cosmology, dark matter, dark energy, observational optical astronomy, experimental gravitational physics, and new instrumentation. He has been a Distinguished Professor of Physics at UC Davis since 2003.

[youtube=http://youtube.com/watch?v=cP3yAVo_2BQ]
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Fuelled by advances in software, microelectronics, and large optics fabrication, a new type of sky survey is being designed. In a relentless campaign of 15 second exposures, the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope will cover the sky to the edge of the optical universe every three nights, opening a movie-like window on objects that change or move on rapid timescales:


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Within a decade, a dream team of astronomers and computer geeks vows to bring a world-class observatory to every desktop, giving anyone with a PC access to remote galaxies and exploding supernovae.
The pledge is the result of a partnership announced last winter between a network of 19 national research institutions and engineers from the search-engine giant Google.
Their collective objective is to develop potent software to process the estimated 30 terabytes of astronomy imagery (think 12 billion five-megapixel photos) that will stream nightly from the newly built Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST, slated to go online in 2013.

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Google has signed on to develop a search engine for what will be one of the most powerful telescopes in the world.
The Large Synoptic Survey Telescope Project, slated for completion by 2013, is a 3-billion pixel camera/telescope currently being built atop the Cerro Pachon mountain peak in Chile.
When completed, the 8.4-meter Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) will generate over 30 terabytes (30,000GB) of multiple color images of visible sky each night, according to LSST Corp., which oversees the project.

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Google today will announce its partnership with the University of Washington, the University of Arizona and others to create the world's largest database -- a moving picture of the universe.

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Google, the world's largest Internet search engine, has joined a group of nineteen universities, national labs and private foundations that is building the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST).
Scheduled to begin operations in 2013, the 8.4-meter LSST will be able to survey the entire visible sky deeply in multiple colours every week with its three-billion pixel digital camera. The telescope will probe the mysteries of dark matter and dark energy, and it will open a movie-like window on objects that change or move rapidly: exploding supernovae, potentially hazardous near-Earth asteroids as small as 100 meters, and distant Kuiper Belt Objects.
The LSST and Google share a common goal, which is to organise massive quantities of data and make that data useful. The decade-long LSST sky survey will generate more than 30,000 gigabytes (30 terabytes) of image data every night.

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Observatory Sciences Ltd, a scientific software consultancy based in Cambridge, England, has completed the design study for the Observatory Control System software for the innovative new Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), which is set to redefine the expectations of astronomers and scientists for
observational data.
The LSST is a US project headquartered in Arizona that is building a revolutionary new design of telescope that has a field of view 1000 times larger than that of existing large telescopes and a world-class light gathering capability. Every aspect of the project will be record breaking. The field of view, at ten square degrees, could accommodate fifty full moons. The LSST will image an area of the sky roughly fifty times that of the full moon every 15 seconds, opening a movie-like window on objects that change or move on rapid time scales: supernovae explosions which
can be seen halfway across the universe, nearby asteroids which might potentially strike Earth, and faint objects in the outer solar system, far beyond Pluto. Using the light-bending gravity of dark matter, the LSST will chart the history of the expansion of the universe and probe the mysterious nature of dark energy.
The LSST has become possible because we are now able to make large, deeply curved mirrors to an accuracy thought impossible just ten years ago. The telescope will use three mirrors, an 8.4m primary, a 3.4m secondary and a 5.0m tertiary, with the first and last fabricated as a single monolith. This three stage reflection means that LSST is actually so compact that it could sit inside current generation telescope domes.
It has recently been announced that Cerro Pachón, a 2,680m high mountain peak in northern Chile, has been selected as the future site for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. The mountain already hosts other large telescopes including the Gemini South 8m reflecting telescope on which Observatory Sciences consultants have worked in the past.

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Live from Cerro Pachon


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Gemini South Dome looking west from the weather tower on Cerro Pachon at 2400 meters above sea level



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