Dark Energy Camera

DECam cameraThe 570-megapixel DECam camera, seen being tested at Fermilab above, will help astronomers uncover the mysteries of dark energy after it’s mounted on a telescope in Chile in fall 2012. Image courtesy of Fermilab.

DECAM will look deep into the universe' past toward distant galaxies, revealing more about the dark energy that comprises about 70 percent of our universe. Because these galaxies are so far away, the light emanating from them will be significantly redshifted when it reaches us. These galaxies are moving away from us, so the light increases in wavelength as it travels to us, making it "redder."

Built with collaborations from five countries, the DECam will be able to image large swaths of the night sky while accounting for these large redshifts. In fall 2012, the camera will be mounted on the 4-meter Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, seen below.

Blancob TelescopeScientists will mount the DECam to the 4-meter Blanco Telescope in Chile, seen above. Images from the camera will help scientists better understand dark energy. Image courtesy of T. Abbott/NOAO/NSF/AURA.

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The DECam

Symmetry Magazine Feature Article