SLAC in California Made the World’s Highest Resolution Camera Sensor

“The idea is you’re looking deep into the heavens,” says Professor Aaron Roodman of the Dept. of Particle Physics & Astrophysics at the SLAC about the aim of the Rubin Observatory project. It began over two decades ago as an idea and is now nearing completion with the collective efforts of multiple teams and countries. I had a very fruitful interview with Professor Roodman the other day. He detailed the story behind the project and the benefits for astronomy that it intends to provide. During the course of the project, his team was responsible for the central optics system behind the telescope. An effort that culminated in the Rubin Observatory project being awarded the Guinness Record for the highest resolution sensor ever created for a camera. It’s also the largest digital camera ever built in terms of size, housing the largest lens ever made.

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Want High Res Images from the Apollo Missions? Here’s How

Apollo Mission Photography

This collection of Apollo mission photography is probably a must-have for space fans.

It’s hard to believe that this year marks the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 astronauts setting foot on another planet. This massive achievement would not have been possible had it not been for NASA being put on a fast track to the moon. As you can imagine, thousands of photos were taken along the way from the first flight of Apollo 7, all the way through to one small step for mankind being made. In order to celebrate this huge milestone in history, a new set of fully restored, high-res images have been assembled. Find out how you can get your hands on a commemorative USB featuring breathtaking Apollo mission photography after the break. Continue reading…

Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson: Musings on Photography

julius motal the phoblographer earthrise tyson

“Earthrise” was taken by NASA astronaut William Anders during Apollo 8 in 1968.

When I originally set out to interview Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, I sought his commentary on the Blue Marble photograph taken during Apollo 17 in 1972. I was putting together a retrospective on the image, and after having spoken with Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt and CSA astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield, I thought that Dr. Tyson could provide great commentary given his status as an astrophysicist and tenure as the director of the Hayden Planetarium. The piece, however, went to press before I secured the interview with him, so the Blue Marble was a very brief jumping off point into a conversation far more insightful than anything I could have anticipated.

This is one of the longest interviews we’ve done, so settle in with a hot cup of coffee (or tea) and enjoy.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited and condensed.

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Canon’s 35mm Sized Video Sensor Can Capture Fireflies at 0.01 LUX

Canon EOS-1DX Sensor


Back in March, we reported on a special 35mm full frame sensor that Canon developed for video applications. And when it was announced, it was turning a lot of heads. As a refresher, the announcement stated that it is a:

“CMOS sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size, which is more than 7.5-times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor incorporated in Canon’s top-of-the-line EOS-1D X and other digital SLR cameras. In addition, the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases. Thanks to these technologies, the sensor facilitates the shooting of clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination, or approximately the brightness of a crescent moon—a level of brightness in which it is difficult for the naked eye to perceive objects.

Since March, we have seen no applications for which the sensor was being used. But now, Canon Watch found something on the company’s website. However, they also stated today that, “In addition to astronomical and natural observation, Canon is looking into applying this CMOS sensor to medical research purposes as well as surveillance and crime-prevention equipment.”

That means that we may not ever see it in cinema camcorders. Head on over to their website for a look at the video.