Maintained by CGWW
PS1 is the prototype for the 4-mirror Pan-STARRS telescope, currently under development. Both instruments are wide-field survey telescopes fitted with very large digital cameras. Since it can survey the whole Northern Sky astrometrically and photometriically every few days, Pan-STARRS is mainly used for the study of transitory, variable, or moving objects.
Pan-STARRS is often considered to be primarily a tool for finding "Killer Asteroids," and it is very good at doing that. But the same observing techniques (and even the same exposures) that can find a killer asteroid may also turn up a supernova, or add to the light curve of a variable star.
The operation of the PS1 System for a 3-year Science Mission is funded by the PS1 Science Consortium (PS1SC), which is a collaboration between ten astronomical institutions from around the world. It will undertake a wide range of observational studies using the single-mirror Pan-STARRS 1 telescope (PS1) situated atop Haleakala in Hawaii and built by the University of Hawaii.
The research program planned by the PS1 Science Consortium covers almost every branch of astronomy. The emphasis is on the study of moving or variable objects, but some programs will use coadded Pan-STARRS's exposures taken over several years to map large areas of sky to unprecedented faintness.