Sept. 19 - Astronomers in Chile have released images of light from deep space which demonstrate the power of their new Dark Energy Camera, the most sophisticated digital camera ever deployed. The scientists say the camera is now ready to probe the edge of the cosmic frontier for answers to questions about dark matter and our expanding universe. Rob Muir reports.
Galaxy NGC 1365 lies in the Formax cluster, some 60 million light years from Earth. This image is one of a series produced during recent tests of the Dark Energy Camera, described by astronomers as the most powerful sky-mapping machine ever built. From its base at Chile's Cerro-Tololo Observatory, the camera is designed to probe as far as eight billion light years into space, for clues about the hypothetical force called dark energy and its influence over the expansion of the universe. It's one of astronomy's most pressing issues. The camera is about to be deployed in a five year survey of 300 million galaxies to find some answers.