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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, July 6, 2006

Telescope's mission: find killer asteroids

Advertiser Staff

WAILUKU, Maui The University of Hawai'i Institute for Astronomy's newest telescope, called PS1, was dedicated Friday on the summit of Haleakala.

The 71-inch telescope is a prototype for the larger Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System telescope scheduled to start scanning the skies for "killer asteroids" in 2010.

Engineers obtained the first test images from the PS1 last month. The telescope will be equipped with the world's largest digital camera, now being built at UH-Manoa. The camera can record 1.4 billion pixels, about 300 times more than what is found in a typical commercial digital camera, UH officials said. Images from the telescope will be sent by optical fiber to be analyzed at the Maui High Performance Computing Center at the foot of the mountain in Kihei.

PS1 will survey the sky every few days to find celestial objects that have changed or moved.