New Super Camera Seeks Answers to the Mystery of Dark Energy

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An image of the central region of our Milky Way galaxy. November 10, 2009
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What if you could see a movie of cosmic history? A movie spanning back 8 billion years in time and through some 300 million galaxies?

Amazingly, a collaboration of research institutes and universities here in the United States have begun to do just that. The project is called the Dark Energy Survey and it is employing the use of a giant digital camera—the most powerful ever—to snap pictures of far out galaxies and exploding stars.

Scientists hope the information the camera gathers will help them solve one of the universe’s biggest mysteries: Why is the expansion of the universe accelerating?

Joshua Frieman is director of the Dark Energy Survey and a scientist at Fermilab. He is also a professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Chicago. He joins The Takeaway to discuss what we know about dark energy and the expanding universe, and what the world may learn through this project.