Revolutionary camera captures images of space in unprecedented detail
A new, UK-built camera which can take over 1,000 images per second and will revolutionise our understanding of stars and black holes has now been fitted to the world’s largest optical telescope.
The pioneering HiPERCAM, built at the Science and Technology Facilities Council’s UK Astronomy Technology Centre (UK ATC), will take high-speed moving images of objects in the Universe, allowing phenomena such as eclipses and explosions to be studied in unprecedented detail.
Data captured by the camera will be taken in five different colours simultaneously, allowing scientists to see the remnants of dead stars – white dwarfs, neutron stars and black holes. These are key objects in astrophysics as their extreme gravities, densities and pressures allow researchers to test theories of fundamental physics.
By observing how the brightness of stars change as their planets and objects in our solar system pass across earth’s line of sight, HiPERCAM will also allow astronomers to study planets and asteroids.