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Topping Off a Telescope with New Tools to Explore Dark Energy

Key components for the sky-mapping Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, weighing about 12 tons, were hoisted atop the Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, and bolted into place last week, marking a major project milestone.

VIDEO: 5,000 Robots Merge to Map the Universe in 3D

How do you create the largest 3D map of the universe? It’s as easy as teaching 5,000 robots how to “dance.” DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, is an experiment that will target millions of distant galaxies by automatically swiveling fiber-optic positioners (the robots) to point at them and gather their light. In creating this detailed map, scientists hope to learn more about dark energy, which is driving the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Tiny Distortions in Universe’s Oldest Light Reveal Clearer Picture of Strands in Cosmic Web

Scientists have decoded faint distortions in the patterns of the universe’s earliest light to map huge tubelike structures invisible to our eyes – known as filaments – that serve as superhighways for delivering matter to dense hubs such as galaxy clusters.

Calling All Photographers: Participate in Berkeley Lab’s Physics Photowalk Competition on May 16

Berkeley Lab is offering a special tour to photographers on Wednesday, May 16, 2018, in a local event that is part of a Global Physics Photowalk 2018 competition. Follow @BerkeleyLab and #LBNLphotowalk online for updates on the local event.

Solving the Dark Energy Mystery: A New Assignment for a 45-Year-Old Telescope

Today, the dome closes on the previous science chapters of the 4-meter Mayall Telescope in Arizona so that it can prepare for its new role in creating the largest 3-D map of the universe. This map could help to solve the mystery of dark energy, which is driving the accelerating expansion of the universe.

Star Mergers: A New Test of Gravity, Dark Energy Theories

Observations and measurements of a neutron star merger have largely ruled out some theories relating to gravity and dark energy, and challenged a large class of theories.

Creating a World of Make-Believe to Better Understand the Real Universe

Scientists are creating simulated universes – complete with dark matter mock-ups, computer-generated galaxies, quasi quasars, and pseudo supernovae – to better understand real-world observations.

Attention Earthlings: Help Wanted in Finding a New Planet

Data research for a Berkeley Lab-led dark energy experiment benefits citizen science project that seeks the public’s help in the hunt for a hypothesized Neptune-like Planet Nine.

New Galaxy-hunting Sky Camera Sees Redder Better

A newly upgraded camera that incorporates light sensors developed at Berkeley Lab is one of the best cameras on the planet for studying outer space at red wavelengths too red for the human eye to see.

Explore Galaxies Far, Far Away at Internet Speeds

Scientists have released an “expansion pack” for a virtual tour of the universe that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own computer. The latest version of the publicly accessible images of the sky roughly doubles the size of the searchable universe from the project’s original release in May.