Science & Technology
The Millennium Camera will take a single photograph over 1,000 years
By T.K. Randall
January 28, 2024 · 6 comments
The camera is accompanied by an information plaque. Image Credit: Chris Richards / University of Arizona
The camera, which is situated in the Tucson hills in Arizona, will remain in place until the 31st Century.
The ambitious project - dubbed the Millennium Camera - is the brainchild of experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats from the University of Arizona.
Consisting of a simple steel pole with a copper cylinder mounted on the top of it, the camera works by enabling light to enter through a tiny hole first onto a sheet of 24-karat gold and then onto a special surface that has been treated with rose madder - a type of oil paint pigment.
As the centuries go by, an image will be gradually built up representing the changing landscape.
"Most people have a pretty bleak outlook on what lies ahead," said Keats.
"It's easy to imagine that people in 1,000 years could see a version of Tucson that is far worse than what we see today, but the fact that we can imagine it is not a bad thing."
"It's actually a good thing, because if we can imagine that, then we can also imagine what else might happen, and therefore it might motivate us to take action to shape our future."
Of course there's no guarantee that the camera will remain undisturbed for 1,000 years, but if someone were to look at the resulting image in the distant future, landscape elements such as the hills will likely appear more prominently, while less permanent things like buildings will appear more faded.
"It is set there to invite us to ask questions and to enter into conversation and invite the perspective of future generations in the sense that they're in our minds," said Keats.
Source: Science Alert
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