Sunday, 10 February 2013

Meet The World's Most Powerful 570MP Camera 

Handsets with the Nokia Lumia PureView cameras may boast of an astounding count of 41 MP but a newly erected DEC (Dark Energy Camera) has somewhat shaken its reputation. To make things clear, this is not a camera phone that anybody can keep in his pocket but reportedly the most powerful sky-mapping machine. The DEC has captured and recorded light from 8 billion years ago.                 
 The newest achievement may well hold within the answers to one of biggest unsolved mysteries of Astrophysics, such as why the expansion of the universe is speeding up, as reported by NDTV.

At the international Dark Energy Survey collaboration, scientists briefed about the Dark Energy Camera, a product that took eight years of planning and construction by a joint team of engineers, scientists and technicians working across three continents. The first pictures of the Southern sky were shot by the 570MP camera on 12 September.

The Dark Energy Camera was developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois. The gigantic camera is mounted on the Victor M. Blanco telescope at the National Science Foundation’s Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, which is the southern branch of the U.S. National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO). “The achievement of first light through the Dark Energy Camera begins a significant new era in our exploration of the Cosmic Frontier,” James Siegrist, DOE associate director of science for high-energy physics was quoted as saying.

The Dark Energy Camera is claimed to be the most powerful survey instrument of its kind, able to see light from over 1,00,000 galaxies up to 8 billion light-years away in each snapshot. The camera’s series of 62 charge-coupled devices has an unprecedented sensitivity to very red light.It also allows scientists from around the world to pursue investigations ranging from studies of asteroids in our own solar system to the understanding of the origins and the fate of the universe.

Scientists in the Dark Energy Survey collaboration will use the new camera to carry out the largest galaxy survey ever undertaken. The collected data will then be used to carry out probes on dark energy, studying galaxy clusters, supernovae, the large-scale clumping of galaxies and weak gravitational lensing. This will be the first time all four of these methods will be possible in a single experiment.

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