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3.2 Gigapixel Camera will Record a Timelapse of the Universe

The Vera C. Rubin Observatory will use the world's largest digital camera to capture the far reaches of the universe, and in the process, hope to tackle some of the most fundamental questions in science today.

The Vera C. Rubin Observatory is the first national observatory to have been named for a woman and it currently houses the world’s largest optical lens ever built. 

Measuring 1.55 meters in diameter, this piece of glass is one of three lenses that will be the eyes for a new astronomical camera. The optical lens weighs more than 3 tons and has an enormous field of view, where light from billions of galaxies will come into focus. By recording images of the entire sky every few days, this camera will produce a time-lapse movie of the universe.

In this Focal Point, we hear from Cosmologist Daniel Gruen, PhD, from the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and Stuart Marshall, a camera operator physicist, to learn more about what this massive digital camera has to offer. Watch to find out!

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