The Dark Energy Camera, perched atop a mountain in the Chilean Andes, has captured more than a million images of the southern sky.
The 2.5 billion celestial objects captured in the snapshots include galaxies, asteroids, stars, comets and giant supernovae.
It was key to completing The Dark Energy Survey (DES), an international collaboration aimed at mapping 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 light-years away.
The ultimate goal is to find patterns that will reveal the nature of the mysterious form of energy known as dark energy.
This is the theoretical driving force behind the accelerated expansion of the universe.
While its suspected existence underpins much of our understanding of the universe, scientists have yet to definitively prove its existence.
The Dark Energy Camera, part of the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, photographed its first stars 10 years ago.
The US Department of Energy Fermi National Accelerator Lab – where the camera was built – celebrates its anniversary this week.
On Tuesday, the particle physics lab highlighted 15 spectacular photos from the device.
These include gorgeous galaxies, near-Earth comets, and a broad swath of the center of the Milky Way.
While serving as a key component of the Dark Energy Survey, the camera was used to image and analyze other objects in the sky.
It was able to capture light from galaxies up to eight billion light-years away, allowing it to “look back” in time.
The light coming to the instrument from these galaxies is, you guessed it, eight billion years old.
Scientists can use these readings to look into our galaxy’s past and study planets and stars that existed long before Earth.
“The Dark Energy Survey, whose scientists are now analyzing data collected from 2013 to 2019, is not the only experiment to benefit from the powerful device,” wrote Fermilab’s Lauren Biron.
“Other research groups have also used the camera to carry out further astronomical observations and measurements.”
The images come as astronomers have identified a nearby galaxy as the origin of a mysterious deep-space signal.
The recently discovered space signal is categorized as a repeating fast radio burst (FRB) and named “FRB 20200120E,” according to a new study published in the journal Nature.
Meanwhile, NASA has unveiled some stunning images captured by its Chandra X-ray Observatory space telescope.
The images offer a rare glimpse into our universe and sightings of space objects that we could not technically see with the naked eye.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9516335/dark-energy-photos-universe-billions-years-ago/ Stunning ‘dark energy’ photos reveal universe ‘billions of years ago’ – The Irish Sun