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World's Largest Digital Camera to Watch for Killer Asteroids
nationalgeographic ^ | June 22, 2010 | Brian Handwerk

Posted on 06/25/2010 8:55:08 AM PDT by JoeProBono

If a planet-destroying asteroid is headed for Earth, scientists now have a much better chance of spotting it.

From its perch atop Hawaii’s dormant Haleakala volcano, the PS1 telescope, which boasts the world's largest digital camera, has begun full-time operations, snapping hundreds of high-resolution photos each day as it scans the sky for space rocks and strange stellar phenomena.

PS1 is the first of several telescopes planned as part of the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System, or Pan-STARRS. The telescope will map near-Earth asteroids ranging in size from 984 feet (300 meters)—big enough to cause major regional destruction if one struck an inhabited area—to 0.6-mile (1-kilometer), which have the potential to produce global catastrophe.

“It provides the best early-warning system we have,” said Edo Berger, a professor with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who has studied data from the telescope. The center is part of a consortium that is helping to fund PS1.

A Digital Eye Bigger Than Hubble's

Although PS1 first came online in late 2008, it only began complete dusk-to-dawn operations last month.

Now, every 30 seconds PS1 snaps a 1,400-megapixel shot of a section of sky as large as 36 full moons—a view 3,600 times larger than the Hubble Space Telescope’s main camera. One of these images would produce a 300-dpi print covering half a basketball court.

In total the telescope gathers enough data to fill a thousand DVDs (nearly five terabytes) every night and maps a sixth of the sky each month. It can also see objects ten times fainter than previous surveys.

These abilities are key to discovering not only killer space rocks but huge numbers of much more common phenomena, from planet-size bodies in our solar system to far-flung cosmic cataclysms......


TOPICS: Astronomy; Science
KEYWORDS: catastrophism; freepun; panstarrs; telescope; xplanets

The Pan-STARRS PS1 Observatory in Hawaii, just before sunrise.


1 posted on 06/25/2010 8:55:12 AM PDT by JoeProBono
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To: JoeProBono
Watch for Killer Asteroids

At this point, the only reason would be to know we're about to die.

We no longer have the capability to intercept them, and never had the ability to deflect them.

Even if we could deflect a killer asteroid, the current administration would regard it as a crisis to good to go to waste.

2 posted on 06/25/2010 9:01:02 AM PDT by Spirochete (Texas is an anagram for Taxes)
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To: JoeProBono

Is the camera going to stop it from hitting the earth? The further out we know, the more riots and chaos will reign. No thanks.


3 posted on 06/25/2010 9:01:20 AM PDT by bgill (how could a young man born here in Kenya, who is not even a native American, become the POTUS)
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To: JoeProBono

5 terabytes a night? lol....hope they have a registered copy of WinZIP...


4 posted on 06/25/2010 9:02:02 AM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Hail To The Fail-In-Chief)
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To: JoeProBono
Looking back at 'ya......
5 posted on 06/25/2010 9:02:07 AM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: JoeProBono

6 posted on 06/25/2010 9:04:45 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (I wish our president loved the US military as much as he loves Paul McCartney.)
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To: JoeProBono

When I have killer asteroids, I use this.

7 posted on 06/25/2010 9:05:52 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: AngelesCrestHighway

8 posted on 06/25/2010 9:06:48 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: a fool in paradise

9 posted on 06/25/2010 9:13:37 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: JoeProBono

What a collosal waste of time and money.

God has already declared he will not destroy the entirety of mankind (at least before judgment). The rainbows we see serve as a reminder of that covenant (Genesis 9:9-17).

So it comes down to who you choose to believe.


10 posted on 06/25/2010 9:14:37 AM PDT by Salvavida (The restoration of the U.S.A. starts with filling the pews at every Bible-believing church.)
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To: dfwgator

11 posted on 06/25/2010 9:14:47 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: Salvavida

12 posted on 06/25/2010 9:18:10 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: bgill

13 posted on 06/25/2010 9:20:32 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: JoeProBono

Pretty cool stuff, but I kinda agree with some of the other freepers - It just gives us more time to contemplate our deaths.

But on another note I recently read that the destruction caused by asteroids, meteors, comets, etc., may not be as huge as was earlier calculated. I remember reading where all it would take is something about 20 miles in diameter to destroy the earth. Now I’m reading it would take something much larger.

In any case we are not yet capable of doing anything to stop one even a few hundred feet in diameter, so until we can, I’d rather not know one is on the way.


14 posted on 06/25/2010 9:27:30 AM PDT by Frenchtown Dan
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To: Spirochete

“Even if we could deflect a killer asteroid, the current administration would regard it as a crisis to good to go to waste.”

No doubt they have contingency plans to ram through Cap and Tax, immigration reform, VAT and all other goodies on the Progressive Top Ten list the instant they confirm that a planet-destroying asteriod is 2 weeks from collision with us. They would kick themselves if they let such a crisis pass without leaving BHO with a “historic” legacy. No doubt they anticipate that future time travelers would be able to roll back the tape and discover just what a great, underappreciated president he was...


15 posted on 06/25/2010 9:29:30 AM PDT by DrC
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To: JoeProBono
Another small one impacting a couple of clicks northwest of Chesapeake bay wouldn't hurt.
16 posted on 06/25/2010 9:30:20 AM PDT by dr_who
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To: SunkenCiv

Part of me wonders whether it would even be a good thing to even know an ‘extinction event’ is coming. I believe I’d rather have knowledge of it, not that it would do anyone a hell of a lot of good.


17 posted on 06/25/2010 9:34:03 AM PDT by KoRn (Department of Homeland Security, Certified - "Right Wing Extremist")
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To: Frenchtown Dan

18 posted on 06/25/2010 9:35:00 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: JoeProBono
     
   
     

19 posted on 06/25/2010 9:40:13 AM PDT by mikrofon (Say Goodbye)
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To: KoRn

‘extinction event’


20 posted on 06/25/2010 9:41:18 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: JoeProBono

Watching the Whie house?? Isn’t HE destroying the world?


21 posted on 06/25/2010 9:44:19 AM PDT by gulfcoast6 (GOD IS!)
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To: JoeProBono

1,400 megapixels

With the rate of technology changes, in 8 years we will have that on the iPhone.


22 posted on 06/25/2010 9:46:15 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: JoeProBono

Yeah, but does it have red-eye correction?

Thing must take like a whole Sam’s Club worth of those expensive little lithium batteries....


23 posted on 06/25/2010 9:46:43 AM PDT by Made In The USA (Home Depot should begin stocking up on pitchforks and torches.)
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To: KoRn; KevinDavis; annie laurie; garbageseeker; Knitting A Conundrum; Viking2002; ...
I saw "Deep Impact" on, hmm, BluRay, nice and cheap, at the warehouse club tonight. :')

Thanks KoRn! A two-list ping.
 
X-Planets
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24 posted on 06/25/2010 6:17:48 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: 75thOVI; aimhigh; Alice in Wonderland; AndrewC; aragorn; aristotleman; Avoiding_Sulla; BBell; ...
Thanks KoRn! A two-list ping.
If a planet-destroying asteroid is headed for Earth, scientists now have a much better chance of spotting it.
 
Catastrophism
 
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25 posted on 06/25/2010 6:18:40 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: a fool in paradise

Lol. I spent a few quarters on that one back in the day.


26 posted on 06/25/2010 10:24:46 PM PDT by rdl6989 (January 20, 2013- The end of an error.)
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To: JoeProBono
If a planet-destroying asteroid is headed for Earth....... it would solve a lot of our problems.
27 posted on 06/25/2010 10:26:53 PM PDT by upsdriver (ret.)
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To: JoeProBono

Interesting. I just watched one of my favorite movies, “Deep Impact” last night for about the 5th time.


28 posted on 06/26/2010 9:49:46 AM PDT by LiberConservative
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The Threat to Earth from Asteroids & Comets
http://pan-starrs.ifa.hawaii.edu/public/asteroid-threat/asteroid_threat.html


29 posted on 11/11/2010 7:51:54 PM PST by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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