The device could help astronomers figure out why the expansion of the universe is accelerating.
The Dark Energy Camera is the world's most powerful digital camera. About the size of a phone booth and boasting 570 megapixels, the device took eight years to construct -- by astronomers, technicians, and engineers collaborating across three continents -- and is currently mounted to the Blanco telescope in Chile. From that perch, it is able to observe light from over 100,000 galaxies. Galaxies that are up to 8 billion light years away.
Again: 8 billion light years away.
That light isn't just mind-bogglingly ancient. It could also hold answers to one of the biggest mysteries in physics: why, exactly, the expansion of the universe is accelerating.
Last week, the Dark Energy Camera captured its first light, capturing images of matter from across the universe. Above and below is a selection of some of those mind-boggling -- and perhaps problem-solving -- sights.
Hat tip J.J. Gould.
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