The Dark Energy Survey has posted this detailed image of the Fornax galaxy cluster. The survey will measure the distributions of galaxies that are far away from Earth and compare them to the patterns of galaxies closer to Earth. Differences in these patterns give indispensable clues about how dark energy has affected spacetime over the last several billions of years.

This image shows the galaxy cluster RX-J2248, named for the ROSAT X-ray telescope, with which it was discovered. It has hundreds of old red galaxies as well as a massive amount of dark matter.

This month, Fermilab technicians and Dark Energy Survey collaborators installed the last of 62 science-quality charged coupling devices, or CCD’s, into the imager for the Dark Energy Camera currently housed at SiDet. CCDs work like film, and each one contains 8 million pixels. The camera also has another 12 CCDs of 4 million pixels each for guiding and focusing. The imager will head to Chile in mid-August for installation on the Blanco telescope. DES collaborators in Chile just finished installing the off-telescope components of the DECam imager liquid-nitrogen cooling system in preparation for the camera’s arrival.

Scientists of the Pierre Auger Observatory, a project to study the highest-energy cosmic rays, will celebrate the inauguration of their 3000-square-kilometer detector array at the southern site of the observatory in Malargüe, Argentina, this Friday, November 14, 2008.

Craig Hogan, a member of one of the scientific teams that co-discovered dark energy, will soon assume dual roles as Director of the Center for Particle Astrophysics at the Department of Energy’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory and as a Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics at the University of Chicago.