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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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New Telescope Gains Key Endorsement From U.S. Science Board
18 July 2012 5:35 pm
The U.S. National Science Board (NSB), the policymaking body of the National Science Foundation (NSF), has given a green light to the foundation's plan to construct the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST): an 8.36-meter-wide instrument to be built in Chile. Although NSB's endorsement does not come as a surprise to anyone—LSST received top billing among large-scale, ground-based projects in the 2010 U.S. astronomy decadal survey—it marks a significant milestone for the proposal.
The telescope will survey the sky twice a week using a 3-billion-pixel camera, collecting images of billions of galaxies over and over. The repeat observations will help astronomers detect changes in stars and galaxies in an unprecedented way, probe dark matter and dark energy, and discover transient phenomena such as stellar explosions.
NSB's vote of approval allows NSF to include a line in its 2014 budget request to Congress for beginning construction of the project. The estimated construction cost is $665 million. The bulk of the cost—70%—will be borne by NSF, while the Department of Energy has agreed to pay 24%. The remaining 6% is coming from private donors.
If Congress approves funding, and all goes to plan, the project is expected to be completed in 5 years. Officials hope that it will be ready to collect data starting in 2022.