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500 megapixel Camera to explore the Dark Energy mysteries

Dark energy comprises about 70 percent of the universe and is is one of the biggest mysteries facing science today. A new experiment to measure the properties of dark energy with the help of a digital cmera is on its way. At the heart of the so called "DECam" are some 70 rectangular (2k x 4k) CCDs, each with 8 million pixels. The CCDs used in the DECam are a new developement of Berkeley National Laboratory. The hefty 500 Mp DECam will measure one-halfmeter-diameter...

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500 megapixel Camera to explore the Dark Energy mysteries - digital camera and photography newsDark energy comprises about 70 percent of the universe and is responsible for the surprisingly accelerating expansion of the universe, yet it is one of the biggest mysteries facing science today.

Fermilab is part of a collaboration proposing an ambitious new experiment to measure the properties of dark energy. If approved, the Dark Energy Survey would measure the history of the expansion rate of the universe more precisely than ever before, using the largest camera ever built with Charge Coupled Devices (CCD). The 500 megapixel Dark Energy Camera would be placed on an existing 4-meter telescope located in north-central Chile at the National Optical Astronomy Observatory's Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

"We don't know if the dark energy is some new kind of 'stuff,' and if so what kind it is, or if something strange is going on with gravity," said Josh Frieman of Fermilab and the University of Chicago's Astronomy Department, a collaborator on the proposed DES. "The only way we really have to probe the properties of the dark energy is to make much more precise measurements of the history of the expansion rate of the universe."

Continue reading this story by Katie Yurkewicz here
May 28, 2004
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