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Project Profile

The Dark Energy Survey (DES) is currently working to understand the cosmic enigma known as dark energy. 

Although Einstein’s theory of General Relativity states that gravity should slow the expansion of the universe, scientists have discovered that expansion is actually speeding up. The DES was created to study this acceleration, and in doing so help explain the nature of dark energy. 

High in the Chilean Andes at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, the DES relies on the 570-Megapixel digital camera DECam mounted on the Blanco 4-meter telescope to collect data. 

After this, the DES sends these images to the NCSA to be processed by the DES Data Management project, which relies on help from the Blue Waters supercomputer as well as computational systems at Fermilab.

Between 2013-19, the DES used 758 nights of observation to record data from 300 million galaxies – resulting in the imaging of 5,000 square degrees of the southern sky. 


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