Google Inc. has joined a group of 16 universities and national labs that plan to build the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, or LSST, on Cerro PachÃ³n Mountain in Chile.
"Partnering with Google will significantly enhance our ability to convert LSST data to knowledge," said J. Anthony Tyson, a professor of physics at UC Davis and director of the nonprofit, public-private partnership behind the LSST.
The 8.4-meter telescope is scheduled to begin operation in 2014, generating images that take up more than 30 terabytes -- 30 thousand gigabytes -- of data every night for a decade. The collaboration with Google will aim at organizing, processing and analyzing that huge amount of data and enabling the new discoveries from the telescope to be made available to the public and researchers in real time.
"Google's mission is to take the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful," said William Coughran, vice president of engineering for the Mountain View-based Internet search company. "The data from LSST will be an important part of the world's information and, by being involved in the project, we hope to make it easier for that data to become accessible and useful."
In 2005, Wayne Rosing, a former vice president for engineering at Google, was appointed as a senior fellow in mathematical and physical sciences at UC Davis, working primarily on the LSST project with Tyson.