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Dark Energy Camera Shows Stars 352 Quintillion Miles Away

By - Source: Fermilab | B 65 comments
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One of Fermilab's most prestigious projects since the shutdown of its Tevatron particle collider has been a stunning Dark Energy Camera (DEC), which is now delivering its first images.

The $50 million camera is combined with a 4-meter telescope and has been designed to scan the sky deep into space, into the history of our universe.

62 CCDs, each with a  resolution of 9 megapixels deliver a total resolution of 570 megapixels. The first shots have been taken on September 12 and were published on September 17.

Fermilab posted images taken of the globular star cluster 47 Tucanae, located about 17,000 light years away - which translates to about 99.7 quadrillion miles. There are also breathtaking shots of the NGC 1365 galaxy, which is about 60 million light years, or 352 quintillion miles away.

Fermilab said it has access to the DEC for about 8-10 hours of 105 nights every year for the a time frame of 5 years. The scientists plan to take about 126,000 pictures total - and cover about 10 percent of the sky. They hope that they will be creating a database of the most detailed imagery ever taken of the sky, with an unprecedented opportunity to travel back into the history of the universe.

Ultimately, the scientists hope that they will find an answer to the question the universe is expanding at an accelerating pace.

 

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  • 24 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , September 20, 2012 5:40 AM
    Pretty amazing stuff.

    Someday we'll figure out that we're riding on the back of an electron that's orbiting the nucleus of some exotic material that was created during someone else's atom-smashing experiments. The galaxies we observe as very large to us are someone else's subatomic particles.
  • 15 Hide
    face-plants , September 20, 2012 6:33 AM
    70-75% of the universe is dark energy. Of that remaining 25%, dark matter consists of 80% of the mass. This leaves us, the planets, stars and everything else we see in the visible universe amounting to only 5% of the "stuff" that makes up the universe. Cosmology is awesome!
  • 14 Hide
    bennaye , September 20, 2012 6:01 AM
    Why is it called the Dark Energy Camera? The only energy I'm seeing is pretty bright.
Other Comments
  • 24 Hide
    jkflipflop98 , September 20, 2012 5:40 AM
    Pretty amazing stuff.

    Someday we'll figure out that we're riding on the back of an electron that's orbiting the nucleus of some exotic material that was created during someone else's atom-smashing experiments. The galaxies we observe as very large to us are someone else's subatomic particles.
  • 5 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , September 20, 2012 6:01 AM
    How does this compare with the Hubble?
  • 14 Hide
    bennaye , September 20, 2012 6:01 AM
    Why is it called the Dark Energy Camera? The only energy I'm seeing is pretty bright.
  • 8 Hide
    edogawa , September 20, 2012 6:24 AM
    This is so amazing, it just boggles my mind how big the universe really is; it's almost too frightening.

    Now, all we need to start doing now is building the USS Enterprise and spreading before humanity kills it self. Life is to short, I want to see it all! :cry: 
  • 15 Hide
    face-plants , September 20, 2012 6:33 AM
    70-75% of the universe is dark energy. Of that remaining 25%, dark matter consists of 80% of the mass. This leaves us, the planets, stars and everything else we see in the visible universe amounting to only 5% of the "stuff" that makes up the universe. Cosmology is awesome!
  • 7 Hide
    QEFX , September 20, 2012 6:33 AM
    I know this will sound silly, but when it comes to art (and many other things) ... the universe is more awe inspiring and beautiful than anything we silly monkeys can come up with.
  • 5 Hide
    face-plants , September 20, 2012 6:39 AM
    Oh and all of these things, the dark matter, dark energy, and regular matter are just what was left over after almost all the anti-matter and regular matter created by the big bang mutually annihilated each other into pure energy.

    For every billion particles of anti-matter, there was a billion +1 particles of regular matter. The entire universe consists of those tiny scraps left over after everything else cancelled each other out. Lucky for us there wasn't equal amounts of both or we'd never exist to contemplate it.

    Did I mention cosmology for the win?
  • 3 Hide
    idroid , September 20, 2012 6:44 AM
    Woow!! can you imagine what cameras will be like in a few years?
  • 0 Hide
    face-plants , September 20, 2012 7:14 AM
    Wow, thumbs down to both my posts with nothing but facts relevant to the article? Sorry if a little shared knowledge is offensive to some but if so, I don't think Tom's is the place for you anyway.
  • 0 Hide
    doive1231 , September 20, 2012 7:26 AM
    One day we'll find out that the Universe is much more amazing and strange than we can imagine rather like the quantum world. It would be mad if the rate of Universe expansion (dark energy's effect) was found to be increasing infinitely.
  • 4 Hide
    neiroatopelcc , September 20, 2012 7:26 AM
    face-plantsWow, thumbs down to both my posts with nothing but facts relevant to the article? Sorry if a little shared knowledge is offensive to some but if so, I don't think Tom's is the place for you anyway.

    That generally happends to every post with substance in it unless an author or mod posts it, so don't worry too much about it.
  • 7 Hide
    Zingam , September 20, 2012 7:42 AM
    Wait a minute? They have no idea what is dark matter and dark energy but they have a dark energy camera? Could someone explain, please?!
  • 1 Hide
    Zingam , September 20, 2012 7:44 AM
    doive1231One day we'll find out that the Universe is much more amazing and strange than we can imagine rather like the quantum world. It would be mad if the rate of Universe expansion (dark energy's effect) was found to be increasing infinitely.


    The more I learn about the Universe the more I have the feeling that it is just a dream. :)  If everything is based on probabilities... then either we do not understand anything (yet) or it is here just because there is a probability that it could be (which is insane... or maybe it isn't).
  • -9 Hide
    crisan_tiberiu , September 20, 2012 7:46 AM
    They can make clear pictures "zillion" lightyears away but they cant take a clear picture from the Mars surface.. they have to send a rover there.
  • 4 Hide
    murzar , September 20, 2012 8:47 AM
    I suddenly feel small.
  • 4 Hide
    thecolorblue , September 20, 2012 9:27 AM
    crisan_tiberiuThey can make clear pictures "zillion" lightyears away but they cant take a clear picture from the Mars surface.. they have to send a rover there.

    are you serious?
  • -8 Hide
    Pherule , September 20, 2012 9:34 AM
    "with an unprecedented opportunity to travel back into the history of the universe"

    Assuming the universe is billions of years old, which I very much doubt. Evolutionists love this line.

    The speed of light, believe it or not, isn't a constant, and in fact used to be much faster, which throws that theory out of the window.
  • -4 Hide
    Zingam , September 20, 2012 9:44 AM
    Pherule"with an unprecedented opportunity to travel back into the history of the universe"Assuming the universe is billions of years old, which I very much doubt. Evolutionists love this line.The speed of light, believe it or not, isn't a constant, and in fact used to be much faster, which throws that theory out of the window.


    How do you know that one?
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , September 20, 2012 10:27 AM
    jkflipflop98Pretty amazing stuff. Someday we'll figure out that we're riding on the back of an electron that's orbiting the nucleus of some exotic material that was created during someone else's atom-smashing experiments. The galaxies we observe as very large to us are someone else's subatomic particles.


    Funny, I always thought the opposite; the Atoms we watch are someone else's star system.
    Maybe we are both right and our existence is simple a step in the middle.

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