DARK ENERGY CAMERA SNAPS PICTURE OF LOTS OF DARK STUFF
September 19 2012
Washington, D.C. – We know a great many things about the physical make up of our universe. Some of what we know is still in the hypothetical stages but there are things we know for certain, things such as the common elements or how a star is born and dies.
There are, though, many mysteries for which we only have ideas and no answers. One of the biggest and most confounding has been the constant and seemingly endless expansion of the Universe itself. For many years scientists had believed that the Universe was accordion in nature, expanding outwards before eventually contracting but now we know that is not that case.
Not only is the Universe expanding, the pace of that expansion is increasing and we have no real idea what is causing that to happen. We do, however, have a hypothesis, Dark Energy.
For the better part of a decade researchers have come to believe the idea that there are forces just beyond our ability to comprehend that are driving the Universe apart and could well make up the majority of existence. Now that the idea is being put to the test with a new camera designed to snap pictures of that dark energy, something it may already have done, showing a lot of dark stuff in its first images.
“The achievement of first light through the Dark Energy Camera begins a significant new era in our exploration of the cosmic frontier,” said James Siegris of the US Department of Energy which is collaborating on the project. “The results of this survey will bring us closer to understanding the mystery of dark energy and what it means for the Universe.”
The camera will not actually be able to capture dark energy but rather the effects it has on distant bodies.
Thus far most of what the camera has seen is pretty dark indeed and that has energized the scientists.
“I doubt that this camera will answer all the questions we have about the universe or even really if that is the goal of the researchers but it could well be an important first step. Of course that assumes that dark energy is real, that’s a really important part of this equation,” said Scrape TV Science analyst Dr. Howard Poe. “Obviously is dark energy doesn’t actually exist then this whole venture will have been a waste of time but if it does, bonanza. Perfect.”
The problem with dark energy, traditionally, has been that it is dark and thus hard to see.
“By figuring this whole thing out we will understand one more aspect of the increasingly complicated nature of the universe and that will be great, just great. I mean it won’t solve world hunger or get the Kardashians off TV but we can have this happen and it doesn’t actually need to affect those others things. Not everything like that is connected,” continued Poe. “Well I mean I guess it is connected if dark energy does indeed exist and you have to just assume that there is some kind of dark energy at work with the Kardashian success, especially that Sasquatch one, that’s just weird. Almost as weird as dark energy.”
The researchers expect to find the answers or not in the next few months. To dark energy not the Kardashians, just dark energy.
Anna Phillips, Science Correspondent