The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) is a continuing project to produce a digital map of the entire sky visible from Apache Point, NM. This map provides highly precise measurements of the multi-color brightnesses of all objects seen in the sky to a faintness 16 million times fainter than the faintest stars visible to the naked eye (what astronomers call 23rd magnitude). This original camera, installed in the late 1990s, is the core element in the imaging system that produced both the accurate positional maps required to isolate the candidate galaxies, together with their photometric, or brightness properties, and laid the basis for the determination of their radial velocities utilizing plug plates, an example of which is also in the collection.

An international consortium of universities and laboratories built this large-format mosaic detector device around a series of matched charge-coupled device (CCD) chips in two groups. Institutions included Princeton University, the University of Chicago, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Japanese Participation Group, Fermilab, the University of Washington, the Naval Observatory, and The Johns Hopkins University. Funding came from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Support also came from a Grant-in-Aid for Specially Promoted Research, from the Ministry of Education in Japan, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and also Keith Gollust.

Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.
Object Details
Country of Origin United States of America Type INSTRUMENTS-Scientific Manufacturer The Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) , University of Washington Dimensions 3-D (Stored): 91.4 × 100.3 × 90.2cm, 426.4kg (3 ft. × 3 ft. 3 1/2 in. × 2 ft. 11 1/2 in., 940lb.)
3-D (On Display): 127.5 × 127.5 × 119.4cm, 415kg (4 ft. 2 3/16 in. × 4 ft. 2 3/16 in. × 3 ft. 11 in., 915lb.)
Materials Ferrous Alloys
Aluminum Alloys
Plastics (Including Possible PVC Tubing, Possible Rubber)
Copper Alloys
Adhesive Tape (Including Kapton Tape)
Uncharacterized Foam
Electronic Wiring
Inventory Number A20130052000 Credit Line Donated by the Astrophysical Research Consortium (ARC) with support from the Sloan Foundation, NSF and the Japanese Ministry of Education Data Source National Air and Space Museum Restrictions & Rights Usage conditions apply
For more information, visit the Smithsonians Terms of Use.