Dark Energy Camera

From USA News Hub, May 10,2022: The Dark Energy Camera on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope, one of the most powerful cameras in the world just photographed two distant galaxies entwined in what’s been described as a “galactic ballet.” Read more about these amazing new images captured by the DECamera developed and tested at Fermilab.

From Phys.org, Aug. 31: The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) developed and tested at Fermilab continues to make important discoveries. Astronomers have captured galaxy Centaurus A over 12 million light-years away and its size and proximity to Earth make it one of the best-studied giant galaxies in the night sky.

Photo of a dome-shaped building, likely an observatory, atop a mountain, which gold mist surrounds. Blue sky and silhouette of birds above.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, travel bans and stay-at-home orders meant astrophysicists collaborating on the Dark Energy Survey needed to find a new way to conduct their observations using the Dark Energy Camera.

A starry night sky with purple diagonal stripe from lower left to upper right corner above an observatory lit up in bright red. A shadow of a building or facility is in the lower right corner.

The Dark Energy Survey collaboration has created the largest ever maps of the distribution and shapes of galaxies, tracing both ordinary and dark matter in the universe out to a distance of over 7 billion light years. The analysis, which includes the first three years of data from the survey, is consistent with predictions from the current best model of the universe, the standard cosmological model. Nevertheless, there remain hints from DES and other experiments that matter in the current universe is a few percent less clumpy than predicted.

From NOIRLab, Feb. 8, 2021: The Dark Energy Camera, originally used to complete the Dark Energy Survey, has taken the most detailed photo of Messier 83, also known as the Southern Pinwheel galaxy. (In DECam’s second act, scientists can apply for time to use it to collect data that is then made publicly available.) In all, 163 DECam exposures went into creating this image.

From Forbes, Dec. 27, 2020: Astronomers have long known that the matter that they’ve seen is less than half of the atomic matter that exists. Several hypotheses have been advanced as to where that matter could be found. Fermilab scientist Don Lincoln describes how a team of astronomers has combined a series of astronomical facilities, including the Dark Energy Camera, to look for a filament of gas connecting two galaxy clusters. They were able to image the largest and hottest filament recorded to date.

From UChicago News, Feb. 6, 2020: Fermilab and University of Chicago scientist Brad Benson and colleagues use a different method to calculate the masses of distant galaxies: the polarization, or orientation, of the light left over from the moments after the Big Bang. In doing so, they demonstrate how to “weigh” galaxy clusters using light from the earliest moments of the universe — a new method that could help shed light on dark matter, dark energy and other mysteries of the cosmos.