A Massive, New Digital Camera May Replace Amateur Astronomers

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LSST artists rendering
An artist's rendering of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, which is under construction on the Cerro Pachón ridge in Chile. The LSST will feature the world's largest digital camera, with 3,200 megapixels.

The world’s largest digital camera for the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, now under construction in Chile, is expected to map the sky with more precision than ever, potentially replacing the work done by volunteer skywatchers.

Meanwhile, MoonMappers, an initiative whose chief scientist is Boulder’s Stuart Robbins, enlists citizens to study photos of the moon and count its craters. Doug Duncan, director of Boulder’s Fiske Planetarium, spoke with Colorado Matters host Ryan Warner about the changing nature of amateurs in astronomy.