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Billion-pixel camera ready for action

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GAIA getting ready for action

Not content with the latest digital camera technology available on mere earth, the European Space Agency just completed work on the largest digital camera ever built – a whopping one billion pixel array camera.

ESA got UK-based e2v Technologies to build the massive peeping-tom, and in order to do all the watching, the camera consists of 106 snugly-fit charge coupled devices.

“These credit card-shaped, human hair-thick slabs of silicon carbide act like tiny galactic eyes, each storing incoming light as a single pixel,” Engadget wrote.

In all seriousness, the camera won’t be turned towards earth, but it will be used to help create a three-dimensional picture of the Milky Way Galaxy. ESA previously stated that the camera will be so powerful that “it could measure the thumbnails of a person on the Moon”.

The camera, called GAIA, is set to be shot into space on-board the Soyuz-Fregat in 2013, will be stationed in the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrange point for five years, where is will send its data back to radio dishes in Spain and Australia.

Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor

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