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The Dark Energy Survey Project comes to an End After Mapping an Eighth of the Sky

DES scientists have used the DECam (Dark Energy Camera) instrument, a 520 megapixel digital camera financed by the Department of Energy (DoE) of the United States and the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of Spain, among other international organizations .

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DES scientists have used the DECam (Dark Energy Camera) instrument, a 520 megapixel digital camera financed by the Department of Energy (DoE) of the United States and the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of Spain, among other international organizations .

After six years, 758 work nights and hundreds of distant galaxies in the southern sky cataloged, the Dark Energy Survey project (whose objective objective was to understand the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force that is accelerating the expansion of the universe) has reached its end.

DES scientists have used the DECam (Dark Energy Camera) instrument, a 520 megapixel digital camera financed by the Department of Energy (DoE) of the United States and the Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities of Spain, among other international organizations .

The camera is mounted on the Blanco telescope, measuring 4 meters, located at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in the Chilean Andes, and belonging to the US National Science Foundation. UU Spain was responsible for the design, verification, construction and installation of most of the reading electronics.

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During all these nights, scientists have accumulated data from more than 300 million distant galaxies. The mapping has generated 50 Terabytes (that is, 50 million Megabytes) of data during its six years of observation. This data is stored in the National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA), at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Now, the work of analyzing these data becomes the central activity of the scientific community. “DES is the first major mapping of galaxies that will study in detail the properties of dark energy. It has been a great success to have collected this huge and accurate data set. Now it remains to analyze them. Perhaps they contain the signal of some important discovery, “says Eusebio Sánchez, the researcher responsible for DES at CIEMAT.

More than 400 scientists from 26 institutions around the world have worked on these issues and the collaboration has already produced more than 200 scientific articles, and many more will be published.

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