Secrets of Dark Universe may be unveiled soon

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The ambitious international astrophysics project LSST's [Large Synoptic Survey Telescope] construction has been officially begun at a traditional stone-laying ceremony outside La Serena, Chile on April 14th. The telescope will start it's operations in 2022 and when it does, this ambitious project may open up the "Dark Universe" of dark matter and dark energy, the unseen substance and force respectively composing 95 percent of the universe's mass and energy.

The Director of LSST, Steven Kahn of Stanford University said that in terms of how much light it will collect and its field of view, LSST is about ten times bigger than any other survey telescope either planned or existing. It will feature an 8.4-meter diameter mirror and a 3.2 gigapixel camera, the biggest digital camera ever built. 

Every few days, the telescope will survey the entire Southern Hemisphere's sky, hauling in 30 terabytes of data nightly. After just its first month of operations, LSST's camera will have observed more of the universe than all previous astronomical surveys combined.

This capability to rake in data, extended over a ten-year observing run, will yield a staggering amount of astronomical information. The telescope should observe some 20 billion galaxies and many tens of thousands of supernovae. In addition, LSST will help map the stars composing the Milky Way and spy reams of asteroids passing near Earth.

The galaxy and supernova observations along with other data will offer some of the most stringent tests of dark matter and dark energy ever conducted. Solving the riddle of dark energy will not only deepen our understanding of our universe's past, but also sketch out its future.

Theoretical physicist Hitoshi Murayama said that dark energy is accelerating the expansion of the universe and ripping it apart and the questions they are asking are: Where is the universe going? What is its fate? Is it getting completely ripped apart at some point? Does the universe end? Or does it go forever? 

Murayama continued: "To understand these questions, it's like trying to understand how quickly the population of a given country is aging. You can't understand the trend of where the country is going just by looking at a small number of people. You have to do a census of the entire population. In a similar way, you need to really look at a vast amount of galaxies so you can understand the trend of where the universe is going. We are taking a cosmic census with LSST."


original source:- phys.org

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Just a Curious boy who want surf over his Curiosity.

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