DES - Dark Energy Survey

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) aims to find the causes of the accelerating expansion of the Universe. To that end, the project has built the DECam camera, able to measure light from over 300 million galaxies at distances up to nine billion light years, from its installation at the Observatorio Astronómico Interamericano Cerro Tolo, la Serena (Chile).

Observatorio Astronómico Interamericano Cerro Tololo (Chile). Credit: Fermilab

The observations, which began in September 2013 and will continue for five years, are mapping the Southern sky with unprecedented detail. Analysis of these data will help scientists to understand the role of dark energy and dark matter in the formation of galaxies.

The first images, collected during the scientific verification period of the project (November 2012 – February 2013) have been published as a catalogue of galaxies and stars, and they are available for download on the webpage of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois, which manages the processing of all the images taken for the Dark Energy Survey. The data from the DES mapping will be published regularly. The first official results of the first year of the project were made public on January of 2018 and can be accessed here

Scientists from 25 countries collaborate in the Dark Energy Survey. The IEEC, through the Institute of Space Sciences (ICE, CSIC), is a founding partner and has participated in the construction of the DEcam (electronics and guide system), the project management, the development of simulations and the coordination of the scientific analysis and data distribution.

More information:

DES website

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