Hundreds of supernovae seen in first season of Dark Energy Survey

Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey survey the southern sky using the Dark Energy Camera in Chile. Photo: Reidar Hahn

On Feb. 9, Alex Drlica-Wagner and Steve Kent from Fermilab spent the night on a remote mountain top in Chile, carrying out the last observing run for the first of five seasons of the Dark Energy Survey. Using the Dark Energy Camera on the Blanco 4-meter telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, DES completed 105 nights of data taking that started back on Aug. 31, 2013. In its first season, DES accumulated nearly 14,000 high-quality images, surveyed about 5 percent of the sky and discovered hundreds of supernovae, all in the quest to understand why the expansion of the universe is speeding up.