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"To take a photograph is to align the head, the eye and the heart. It's a way of life." ~ Henri Cartier-Bresson

Monday, September 24, 2012

570 Megapixel Camera Photographs Galaxies Up To 8 Billion Light Years Away.

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is designed to probe the origin of the accelerating universe and help uncover the nature of dark energy by measuring the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision. More than 120 scientists from 23 institutions in the United States, Spain, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Germany are working on the project. This collaboration built the extremely sensitive 570-Megapixel digital camera, DECam, and mounted it on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory high in the Chilean Andes. Starting in Sept. 2012 and continuing for five years, DES will survey a large swath of the southern sky out to vast distances in order to provide new clues to this most fundamental of questions. [via DES]

"The achievement of first light through the Dark Energy Camera
 begins a significant new era in our exploration of the cosmic
 frontier," said James Siegrist, associate director of science for
 high-energy physics at the US Department of Energy, which 
oversaw the instrument's construction.
"The results of this survey will bring us closer to understanding 

the mystery of dark energy
 and what it means for the Universe."

This is the first image from the world's most powerful digital camera.
NGC 1365 is a barred spiral galaxy around 60 million light years from Earth, located in the Fornax galactic cluster.

Over the next five years, scientists plan to create these massive colour photos of 1/8th of the night sky, capturing 300 million galaxies, 100,000 galaxy clusters, and even 4,000 supernovae.

Photo of the Dark Energy Camera's 62 CCD sensors 

The goal is to discover the nature of dark energy, which is

theorised to be responsible for the ever-faster expansion of

 the Universe.

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