|The camera comprises 62 separate CCDs, the same |
kind of detector familiar from consumer cameras
The Dark Energy Survey's 570-million-pixel camera will scan some 300 million galaxies in the coming five years.
The goal is to discover the nature of dark energy, which is theorised to be responsible for the ever-faster expansion of the Universe.
Its first image, taken 12 September, focussed on the Fornax galaxy cluster.
In time, along with its massive haul of individual galaxies, it will study 100,000 galaxy clusters - the largest stable structures we know of - and 4,000 supernovae, the bright dying throes of stars.
This enormous survey is a collaboration between US, UK, Brazilian, Spanish and German astronomers.
The phone box-sized Dark Energy Camera or DECam is mounted on the 4m Victor M Blanco telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile's Atacama desert.