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12 December 2013 1:00 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
The iconic 125-year-old Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, is facing the threat of closure...
Recent results from the Curiosity Mars rover have helped scientists formulate a plan for the next phase of its mission...
A new, remarkably powerful drug that cripples the hepatitis C virus (HCV) came to market last week, but it sells for $...
In pretoothbrush populations, gumlines would often be marred by a thick, visible crust of calcium phosphate, food...
Evolutionary biologists have long studied how the Mexican tetra, a drab fish that lives in rivers and creeks but has...
Victorian astronomers spent countless hours laboriously charting the positions of stars in the sky. Such sky mapping,...
In an ambitious project to study 1000 years of sickness and health, researchers are excavating the graveyard of the now...
Stefan Behnisch has won awards for designing science labs and other buildings that are smart, sustainable, and...
- 12 December 2013 1:00 pm , Vol. 342 , #6164
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ScienceShot: Get Ready for Gigapixels
20 June 2012 1:00 pm
Try doing this on your iPhone: Researchers have developed a prototype "supercamera" that stitches together images from 98 individual cameras (each with a 14-megapixel sensor) to create a 960-million-pixel image with enough resolution to spot a 3.8-centimeter-wide object 1 kilometer away. Applied to a 120°-wide, near-fisheye view of the Seattle skyline (main image), the 93-kilogram camera (inset, upper left) captured enough detail to read the fine print on signs as much as two blocks away (bottom row, third and fourth from left). The camera's optics occupy only 3% of the volume of its 75-centimeter-by-75-centimeter-by-50- centimeter frame—a size needed both to contain the camera's circuit boards and to keep them from overheating, the researchers report online today in Nature. While other camera systems can generate gigapixel-and-larger images, those composite views are stitched together from individual images taken sequentially with one camera as it is panned across the scene; the new system takes all 98 images simultaneously, providing a "stop action" view of a scene. Future, more compact versions could inaugurate the era of handheld gigapixel photography. Such cameras could be useful for any number of military, commercial, or scientific purposes, the researchers suggest, changing the central challenge of photography from "Where should we point the camera?" to "How do we extract useful data from these superhuge images?"
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