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Space Science

Construction of ESA Galaxy Mapping Satellite Completed 45

coondoggie writes with an article in Network World. From the article: "The European Space Agency says it has completed what it calls the largest digital camera ever built for a space mission — a one billion pixel array camera that will help create a three-dimensional picture of the Milky Way Galaxy. Set to be launched onboard the ESA's galaxy-mapping Gaia mission in 2013, the digital camera was 'mosaicked together from 106 separate electronic detectors.' ESA says that Gaia's measurements will be so accurate that, if it were on Earth, it could measure the thumbnails of a person on the Moon."
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Construction of ESA Galaxy Mapping Satellite Completed

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  • Re:Thumbnails? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jpapon ( 1877296 ) on Wednesday July 06, 2011 @02:32PM (#36673646) Journal

    This telescope can directly image objects 1000 km across at the center of the galaxy.

    Well, maybe, but that's assuming said object is really luminous. Sure, you can get 1000km resolution on a star, but it does you no good to have 1000km resolution on an exoplanet if the number of photons reaching you from the exoplanet are less than your noise floor. I could be wrong, but I don't think this resolution is *quite* as exciting as it sounds... unless of course you attach it to some wide aperture high quality optics.

Perfection is acheived only on the point of collapse. - C. N. Parkinson