Google announced today that they’ve joined forces with the 19 universities, labs and other foundations of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project.
The huge telescope, to be located in Chile, will scan the night sky for distant activity including supernovae and asteroids. Google will be providing the infrastructure and database for organizing, storing and making available in real time the vast amounts of information (30 terabytes, they say) generated by the heavens each night.
Google’s VP of engineering, William Coughran, explains Google’s interest in the project:
Google’s mission is to take the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. The data from LSST will be an important part of the worldâ€™s information, and by being involved in the project we hope to make it easier for that data to become accessible and useful.
Basically, they’ll be indexing the far reaches of the final frontier. I guess the Internet just isn’t a challenge anymore.
Unfortunately, the project won’t get there until 2013, so for now you’ll have to resort to the old fashioned way of looking for the star that you had named for your girlfriend in 1987.
Info on the LSST can be found at http://www.lsst.org.