For all antiquity nobody knew what stars were. When Copernicus realized that the sun, not Earth, is the center of the universe, the stars were placed on a far distant giant sphere. Some thought they might be holes through which shone the light of heaven. Copernicus, who was nineteen when Columbus first sailed across the Atlantic, started the Scientific Revolution, followed by Galileo and Newton, and the Age of Discovery began.
From The New York Times, Dec. 8, 2020: Scientists are puzzling over why the universe is not as dark as expected. Fermilab scientist Dan Hooper weighs in.
While we’ve known about neutron stars for the better part of a century, astrophysicists still aren’t entirely sure how large they are. That uncertainty is related to two other unanswered questions: What’s in the middle of neutron stars, and how massive can they grow? Astrophysicists are combining multiple methods to reveal the secrets of some of the weirdest objects in the universe.
From Gizmodo, May 5, 2020: Fermilab scientist Brian Nord weighs in on the question of how automated devices, such as an autonomously operating telescope, free from human biases and complications, could find the solutions to questions about dark matter and dark energy.
From Astronomy, March 31, 2020: Astronomers have discovered 139 new minor planets orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune by searching through data from the Dark Energy Survey, which is led by Fermilab. The new method for spotting small worlds is expected to reveal many thousands of distant objects in coming years — meaning these first hundred or so are likely just the tip of the iceberg.
From WDRB, March 29, 2020: A study published earlier this month by astronomers at the University of Pennsylvania distinguished more than 100 new planets in our solar system, but estimates show there could be as many as 70,000. These trans-Neptunian objects were found in the data gathered by the Dark Energy Survey, led by Fermilab.
From EarthSky, March 29, 2020: Astronomers analyzed data from the Dark Energy Survey, led by Fermilab, to find over 100 new little worlds in the cold outer reaches of our solar system. These trans-Neptunian objects orbit in the cold outer reaches of our solar system, out beyond Neptune, taking hundreds of years to orbit the sun once.
From Forbes, March 16, 2020: Researchers using data from the Fermilab-led Dark Energy Survey have identified more than 300 trans-Neptunian objects — minor planets located in the far reaches of the solar system — including well over 100 new discoveries. The research pioneers a new technique that could help astronomers in the search for undiscovered planets — including the mysterious “Planet 9.”