New camera on Palomar telescope will seek out supernovas, asteroids and more

first image from Zwicky Transient Facility
LOOK AROUND The new Zwicky Transient Facility took this image — its first — on November 1. The three bright stars at the upper right are the belt of the constellation Orion, and the Orion nebula is at the lower right. The full resolution version of the image is more than 24,000 pixels on a side.

A new eye on the variable sky just opened. The Zwicky Transient Facility, a robotic camera designed to rapidly scan the sky nightly for objects that move, flash or explode, took its first image on November 1.

The camera, mounted on a telescope at Caltech’s Palomar Observatory near San Diego,…

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