From May 2010 through March 2014, PS1 was operated by the Pan-STARRS 1 Science Consortium to perform a set of connected science surveys:

  • The biggest fraction of the time (56%) went to the 3π Survey in which PS1 repeatedly observed most of the sky visible from Hawaii.  By the end of the 4 year mission, each spot had been observed between 10 and 20 times in each of the five filters.
  • The second largest portion of observing time (25%) went to the Medium Deep Survey, in which 10 fields scattered across the sky were observed with long exposures every night, as long as they were up during the night and the weather cooperated.  This survey resulted in the discovery of thousands of supernovae used to study the evolution of the universe.
  • A dedicated search for hazardous asteroids was the next largest block, getting between 6 and 11% of the time.  This program was so successful that PS1 has been engaged by NASA since the end of the PS1SC mission to dedicate most of the observing time to this asteroid search.
  • Most of the remaining time was distributed between projects to study exoplanets and the Andromeda galaxy