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To perform ultra-high-precision photometry ie measurement of brightness variations to a level of 1 part per million of stars down to the naked-eye limit of visibility magnitude 6 for up to two months without major interruptions Note To put the sensitivity of MOST in perspective look at a streetlamp 1 km away and then move your eye 05 mm closer to it Can we understand our Sun in the context of other stars By putting a birthdates on the oldest stars in the solar neighborhood can we set a limit on the age of the Universe How do strong magnetic fields affect the physics of other stars and our own Sun What are mysterious planets around other stars really like How did the atoms which make up our planet and our very bodies escape from stars in the first place The streetlamp is now about 1 ppm brighter to your eyeAn optical Telescope with a collecting mirror only 15 cm across feeding a CCD Charge Coupled Device camera with twin Marconi 47-20 frame-transfer devices 1024 by 1024 pixels side-by-side One CCD is used for science measurements the other is read out every second to track guide stars for satellite attitude control The Instrument contains a single broadband filter which selects light in the wavelength range 350 - 700 nmThe camera is equipped with an array of Fabry microlenses which project a large stable image of the Telescope pupil illuminated by target starlight which is key to the photometric precision of MOST For low cost and high reliability the Instrument has no moving parts - the structure automatically maintains the same focus across a wide range of temperatures and exposure times are controlled by rapid frame transfer of the CCDs The CCDs are cooled by a passive radiator system
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