DES in the News

All the news about DES that’s fit to print!

El Dark Energy Survey publica la medida más precisa de la estructura de la materia oscura en el universo

El nuevo resultado compite en precisión con las medidas de la radiación de fondo de microondas y confirma que la materia oscura y la energía oscura componen la mayor parte del cosmos.

Investigadores del Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, MedioAmbientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT) , el Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEC-CSIC) , el Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE) y el Instituto de Física Teórica (UAM-CSIC) participan en el resultado.

Scientists Unveil a New Inventory of the Universe’s Dark Contents

In a much-anticipated analysis of its first year of data, the Dark Energy Survey (DES) telescope experiment has gauged the amount of dark energy and dark matter in the universe by measuring the clumpiness of galaxies — a rich and, so far, barely tapped source of information that many see as the future of cosmology.

The analysis, posted on DES’s website today and based on observations of 26 million galaxies in a large swath of the southern sky, tweaks estimates only a little. It draws the pie chart of the universe as 74 percent dark energy and 21 percent dark matter, with galaxies and all other visible matter — everything currently known to physicists — filling the remaining 5 percent sliver.

Dark Energy Survey reveals most accurate measurement of universe’s dark matter

Dark Energy Survey scientists have unveiled the most accurate measurement ever made of the present large-scale structure of the universe. These measurements of the amount and ‘clumpiness’ (or distribution) of dark matter in the present-day cosmos were made with a precision that, for the first time, rivals that of inferences from the early universe by the European Space Agency’s orbiting Planck observatory.

Cosmology and particle physics face surprisingly similar challenges

There are some surprising similarities in some of the methodological challenges that cosmologists and particle physicists face today in the light of the wealth of data coming out of large cosmological surveys like DES, no less than from run 2 at LHC (at higher energy of 13 TeV). How to make an effective use of the complex and bewildering amount of data? What kind of evidence can ultimately answer the pressing questions that cosmologists, and particle physicists alike, are asking: namely, is there really dark energy? And if so, what is it exactly? Or, are there really particles whose physics goes beyond the Standard Model? And if so, what are they like?

Peering toward the Cosmic Dark Ages

During the Cosmic Dark Ages, our universe matured from a primordial soup of neutral gas to the star-filled cosmos we see today. A new study probes this mysterious time. Last week, the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) said astronomers took another step forward in probing the early universe with the discovery of 23 small star-forming galaxies – called Lyman alpha emitting galaxies, or LAEs – found when the universe was only 800 million years old. Finding these galaxies helps them pinpoint when the Cosmic Dark Ages ended, and the first stars and galaxies formed. They used the Dark Energy Camera on the Blanco 4-meter Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile to carry out the study – Lyman-Alpha Galaxies in the Epoch of Reionization (LAGER) – published in the peer-reviewed Astrophysical Journal Letters.

The rise of LIGO’s space-studying super-team

It’s not just space-based experiments looking for signals that align with LIGO alerts. A working group called DESgw, members of the Dark Energy Survey with independent collaborators, have found a way to use the Dark Energy Camera, a 570-Megapixel digital camera mounted on a telescope in the Chilean Andes, to follow up on gravitational wave detections.​

“We have developed a rapid response system to interrupt the planned observations when a trigger occurs,” says DES scientist Marcelle Soares-Santos of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. “The DES is a cosmological survey; following up gravitational wave sources was not originally part of the DES scientific program.”

Dark Energy Survey Data Management group lays groundwork for next survey at NCSA

Understanding the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion requires a deep and wide map of the universe. The fainter and more distant the source of light is, the farther back in time astronomers can look to interrogate their theories on how the universe came to be.

Using larger telescopes and more sensitive cameras, astronomers have begun systematically mapping the Earth’s night sky to greater depths. Right now, about a quarter of the southern sky is being mapped by the Dark Energy Survey (DES), using a new, large camera on the 4-meter Blanco Telescope in Chile, which is capturing the light of hundreds of millions of galaxies over a 5,000 square degree region.

NCSA hosts free screening of ‘Seeing the Beginning of Time’

The National Center for Supercomputing Applications, or NCSA, will be hosting a free screening of “Seeing the Beginning of Time” at the Savoy 16 theater Wednesday, June 28 at 7 p.m. The film will be followed by a panel discussion from researchers and visualization artists.

“Seeing the Beginning of Time” is said by the NCSA to take viewers “on a visually-compelling journey through deep space and time.”
It follows Felipe Menanteau – a NCSA Research Scientist and Astronomy Research Professor – and his colleagues from the Dark Energy Survey, or DES. This is an international collaboration which is focused on documenting the expansion of the universe.

Our Expanding Universe: Delving into Dark Energy

The universe is growing a little bigger, a little faster, every day.

And scientists don’t know why.

If this continues, almost all other galaxies will be so far away from us that one day, we won’t be able to spot them with even the most sophisticated equipment. In fact, we’ll only be able to spot a few cosmic objects outside of the Milky Way. Fortunately, this won’t happen for billions of years.

But it’s not supposed to be this way – at least according to theory. Based on the fact that gravity pulls galaxies together, Albert Einstein’s theory predicted that the universe should be expanding more slowly over time. But in 1998, astrophysicists were quite surprised when their observations showed that the universe was expanding ever faster. Astrophysicists call this phenomenon “cosmic acceleration.”

“Whatever is driving cosmic acceleration is likely to dominate the future evolution of the universe,” said Josh Frieman, a researcher at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fermilab and director of the Dark Energy Survey.

Penn physicists study galaxies to solve mysteries of dark matter

In the 1970s, scientists noticed something strange about the motion of galaxies. All the matter at the edges of spiral galaxies was rotating just as fast as material in the inner parts of the galaxies. But according to the laws of gravity, objects on the outskirts should be moving slower.
The explanation: A form of matter called dark matter that does not directly interact with light.
The researchers are working on another paper using a deeper survey of more than 100 million galaxies called the Dark Energy Survey.