Is There Anybody Out There?: Billion-Pixel Space Camera To Discover 10 Planets A Day
Seen here in an artist's rendition (mine -- I'm an artist) of exactly what it'll look like when while in orbit, the European Space Agency's Gaia Spacecraft will rock a 106-CCD sensor, 1-billion pixel "camera" that's over three feet wide (like my ass!) in order to create a 3-D map of the universe. Mass Effect galaxy map or GTFO.
Along the way, it's expected to detect (on average) 250 quasars, 30 brown dwarfs, 10 stars with planets orbiting them, and 10 stars exploding in other galaxies - every day.
The resulting imaging system is so powerful that it will be able to precisely measure the width of a hair from over 600 miles away, and from here on Earth, it could spot a dime on the moon.
OMG please tell me they didn't build this thing just to spot a lost dime on the moon. IT'S TEN CENTS BRO, LET IT GO. Just sayin', I don't bend over for anything less than a quarter. Or a spanking. I'M KINKY AND I DON'T CARE WHO KNOWS.
Thanks to Clark, who's hoping for at least one shot of two aliens doing it in a flying saucer.