On Aug. 31, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) officially began. Scientists on the survey team will systematically map one-eighth of the sky (5000 square degrees) in unprecedented detail. The start of the survey is the culmination of 10 years of planning, building and testing by scientists from 25 institutions in six countries.
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.