The Dark Energy Survey collaboration has created the largest ever maps of the distribution and shapes of galaxies, tracing both ordinary and dark matter in the universe out to a distance of over 7 billion light years. The results are based on the first three years of data from the survey.
The international collaboration, including Fermilab, the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, NOIRLab and others, releases a massive, public collection of astronomical data and calibrated images from six years of surveys. This data release is one of the largest astronomical catalogs issued to date.
Scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have used observations of the smallest known galaxies to better understand dark matter, the mysterious substance that makes up 85% of the matter in the universe. The smallest galaxies can contain hundreds to thousands of times more dark matter than normal visible matter, making them ideal laboratories for studying this mysterious substance. By performing a rigorous census of small galaxies surrounding our Milky Way, scientists on the Dark Energy Survey have been able to constrain the fundamental particle physics that governs dark matter.
Astrophysicists have come a step closer to understanding the origin of a faint glow of gamma rays covering the night sky. They found that this light is brighter in regions that contain a lot of matter and dimmer where matter is sparser – a correlation that could help them narrow down the properties of exotic astrophysical objects and invisible dark matter.
Six scientists from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).