DES in the News

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

The Search for Planet Nine: New Finds Boost Case for Distant World

The case for Planet Nine’s existence keeps getting stronger. Astronomers have discovered several more objects in the extreme outer solar system whose orbital characteristics hint at the existence of an unseen “perturber” in the dark depths far from the sun — a hypothetical world larger than Earth that scientists are calling Planet Nine, or Planet X.

Hunt for ninth planet reveals new extremely distant solar system objects

In the race to discover a proposed ninth planet in our Solar System, Carnegie’s Scott Sheppard and Chadwick Trujillo of Northern Arizona University have observed several never-before-seen objects at extreme distances from the Sun in our Solar System. Sheppard and Trujillo have now submitted their latest discoveries to the International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center for official designations. A paper about the discoveries has also been accepted to The Astronomical Journal.

MACHOs may be out of the running as a dark matter candidate

A recently discovered ultra-faint dwarf galaxy is sending astronomers clues about the makeup of dark matter in the neighborhood of the Milky Way. It is one more clue that a type of stellar object called massive compact halo objects (MACHOs) are probably not the dominant component of dark matter in the universe.

Mapping the Expansion of the Universe

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) maps the universe in infrared to figure out the answer to a burning question: why is the universe accelerating in its expansion?

Scientists are one step closer to uncovering the ‘true nature’ of dark energy as project to create 3D map of the universe enters construction phase

Five thousand robots will soon work together to create a 3D map that highlights 35 million distant worlds.
Called Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), this project is set to build 5,000 finger-width, 10-inch-long cylindrical robots which will gather light from galaxies, stars and quasars. This data will help experts learn about the nature of dark energy and provide a glimpse of what the universe was like 11 billion years ago.

Mysterious Supernovas Explode Twice, Giving Birth to Powerful Magnets

A mysterious kind of supernova that appears to explode twice may be giving birth to some of the most powerful magnets in the universe, a new study finds. Supernovas are explosions that occur when certain types of stars run out of fuel and “die.” These outbursts can briefly outshine all of the millions of other stars in their galaxies.

Dark Energy Illuminated By Largest Galactic Map Ten Years In The Making

In 1929, Edwin Hubble forever changed our understanding of the cosmos by showing that the Universe is in a state of expansion. By the 1990s, astronomers determined that the rate at which it is expanding is actually speeding up, which in turn led to the theory of “Dark Energy“. Since that time, astronomers and physicists have sought to determine the existence of this force by measuring the influence it has on the cosmos.

How virtual universes could unravel the secrets of dark matter: New models compute mysterious ‘force’ 25 times faster

Dark energy is a phrase used by physicists to describe a mysterious ‘something’ that is causing the universe to accelerate in its expansion. It is the ‘gravitational glue’ that holds galaxies together and is thought to make up five sixths of the universe’s mass. These substances have profound effects on the birth and lives of galaxies and stars and yet almost nothing is known about their physical nature. But now a new computer model, twenty-five times faster than other methods, will allow scientists to compute virtual universes in the search of explanations about these mysteries.

Going Dark

Established in 2012, the Dark Energy Survey has had many successes – from helping identify Planet 9 to LIGO backup – but will it fulfill its ultimate aim of spotting the mysterious dark energy? Professor Ofer Lahav fills us in…

Public Lecture at KIPAC: Sarah Bridle (University of Manchester)

Date: 7:30pm Thursday May 12th, 2016
Title: “Seeing the Invisible: Observing the Dark Side of the Universe”
Location: SLAC, Science and User Support Building, Panofsky Auditorium