Mind-blowing ‘dark energy’ photos reveal universe ‘billions of years ago’ – The Sun | The Sun

PERCHED atop a mountain in the Chilean Andes, the Dark Energy Camera has snapped more than a million images of the southern sky.

The 2.5billion celestial objects captured in the snaps include galaxies, asteroids, stars, comets and enormous supernovae.


It was key to the completion of The Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaboration that aims to map objects in our galaxy.

Since its launch in 2013, the project has imaged one-eighth of the sky,capturing light from galaxies up to 8 billion lightyears away.

The ultimate aim is to find patterns that will reveal the nature of the mysterious form of energy known as dark energy.

That's the theoretical driving force behind the universe's accelerating expansion.

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While its presumed existence underpins much of how we understand the universe, scientists are yet to definitively prove its existence.

The Dark Energy Camera, which is part of Chile's Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, imaged its first stars 10 years ago.

The U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Lab – where the camera was built – is this week celebrating the anniversary.

On Tuesday, the particle physics lab highlighted 15 spectacular photos from the contraption.

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They include glorious galaxies, near-Earth comets, and a broad snap of the centre of the Milky Way galaxy.

While serving as a key component of the Dark Energy Survey, the camera was used to image and analyse other objects in the sky.

It was capable of capturing light from galaxies up to eight billion light-years away, allowing it to "peer back" in time.

The light arriving at the instrument from these galaxies is – you guessed it – eight billion years old.

Scientists can use these readings to peer into out galaxy's past, examining planets and stars that existed long before Earth.

"The Dark Energy Survey, whose scientists are now analyzing the data collected from 2013-2019, isn’t the only experiment to benefit from the powerful piece of equipment," Fermilab's Lauren Biron wrote.

"Other research groups have also used the camera to conduct additional astronomical observations and surveys."

The images come as astronomers have identified a nearby galaxy as the point of origin of a mystifying space signal.

The recently discovered space signal is categorized as a repeating fast radio burst (FRB) and has been designated 'FRB 20200120E,' according to a new study published in the journal Nature.

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Meanwhile, NASA has revealed some stunning images taken by its Chandra X-ray Observatory space telescope.

The images offer a rare glimpse into our universe and sightings of space objects that we wouldn't technically be able to see with the naked eye.




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