Five-Year Hunt for Mysterious Dark Energy Begins
By Megan Gannon, News Editor | September 17, 2013 07:00am ET
|This image was taken with the Dark Energy Camera. It shows the NGC 1398 galaxy, which is packed with more than 100 million stars and lives in the Fornax cluster, some 65 million light years from Earth.|
Credit: Dark Energy Survey
The five-year Dark Energy Survey (DES for short) officially began after sunset on Aug. 31, 2013. Its main instrument is the 570-megapixel Dark Energy Camera at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in the Andes Mountains in Chile.
Though scientists think dark energy comprises 74 percent of the universe, they do not fully understand what it is. Dark energy, for now, is the name given to the force that seems to be working against gravity, causing the expansion of the universe to speed up instead of slow down. [The History & Structure of the Universe (Infographic)]