European Space Agency names her GAIA.
Way back in the early years of this millennium the European Space Agency decided that it wanted to map the stars in our Mily way. Specifically, it wanted to map one Billion stars, in 3D. That of course, gave way to this one Billion pixel camera the ESA so fondly calls GAIA.
In their bid to accomplish this, the UK-based e2v technologies was enlisted to build the immense camera. This comprised of 106 snugly-fit charge coupled devices. These slabs of silicon carbide each store incoming light as a single pixel. All within a credit card shaped slab the thickness of a strand of hair.
The camera is said to be able to measure “The thumbnails of a person on the moon”.
also reports that it’s set to launch later this year and find a five year home in space. All the while beaming images to radio dishes in Spain and Australia.