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I was having a discussing about big scientific projects with colleagues, and I postulated that astronomy is still one of the scientific fields with biggest projects per amount of data dealt with, after the high-energy physics.

I would like to know what is the highest throughput astronomy project as defined by the number of pixels in the images analysed in the project.

Something like "project XYZ" with an estimated "1.2 trillion pixels" worth of pictures taked and analysed over 5 years.

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LSST is currently one of the contenders: 1.28 petabytes per year according to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Large_Synoptic_Survey_Telescope –  chris Mar 15 at 20:51

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If you refer to "data volume" instead of real image pixels, it would be the Millenium Run (25TB of data):

http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/galform/virgo/millennium/

The Millennium Run used more than 10 billion particles to trace the evolution of the matter distribution in a cubic region of the Universe over 2 billion light-years on a side.

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Another "mega project" currently starting to produce data is the Gaia project: "By the end of the mission, the data archive will exceed 1 Petabyte (1 million Gigabytes)". They intend to "measure the positions and velocity of approximately one billion stars in our Galaxy". "Gaia will carry the largest digital camera into space with nearly one billion pixels."

A Petabyte is about 1e15 bytes (1000 Terabytes).

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