The design of Pan-STARRS is heavily weighted towards its primary purpose, which is to detect potentially hazardous objects in the Solar System. But the wide-field, repetitive nature of the Pan-STARRS observations makes them ideal for a host of other astronomical purposes, ranging from Solar System astronomy to cosmology.
Some of the science described here can be done as a by-product of the asteroid searches, but some of the studies require more specialized observations, such as color filters, greater integration time, or more frequent exposures.
There are two features that distinguish Pan-STARRS from other astronomical surveys: its ability to map very large areas of sky to great sensitivity and its ability to find moving or variable objects. The projects that are described here all make use of one or other of these characteristics.
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- ESA builds billion-pixel digital camera to map the Milky Way (zdnet.com)
- Black Holes are More Like Venus Fly Traps than Vacuum Cleaners (universetoday.com)
- Astronomers see ANOTHER star ripped apart by a black hole! (blogs.discovermagazine.com)
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- A Black Hole Devouring a Star Is One Hell of an Amazing View [Astronomy] (gizmodo.com)