Dark Energy Camera
Pictured at left is the Dark Energy Camera. The Dark Energy Camera features 62 digital chips named charge-coupled devices (CCDs). Each CCD is divided into millions of pixels and, when combined, these CCDs are able to record a total of 570 megapixels per snapshot. CCDs create images by converting light into electrons. The electrons generated by the light that hits each pixel are converted to a digital value that a computer can store or display. In concept, these are the same devices that make up the heart of any home digital camera. However, unlike home cameras that are used to record images of things that are very bright, astronomical CCDs must be souped-up in order to detect the tiny amount of light that reaches us from faint and/or distant objects.
Image credit: Reidar Hahn/Fermilab