From Listverse, May 3, 2019: The Dark Energy Camera made this list of 10 brilliant feats of scientific technology, along with LIGO, the Pierre Auger Observatory and the Large Hadron Collider.
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have released the first in a series of dark matter maps of the cosmos. These maps, created with one of the world’s most powerful digital cameras, are the largest contiguous maps created at this level of detail and will improve our understanding of dark matter’s role in the formation of galaxies.
Eight billion years ago, rays of light from distant galaxies began their long journey to Earth. That ancient starlight has now found its way to a mountaintop in Chile, where the newly constructed Dark Energy Camera, the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever created, has captured and recorded it for the first time.
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.