570 Mp camera may unveil the universe's big secret of gravity

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  • Publicado : 24 de febrero de 2011
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At the core of the camera are 62 CCDs, each with a resolution of about 9 megapixels that are organized in an octagon shape. The total resolution is about 570 Megapixels. Toincrease the sensitivity of the CCDs and reduce noise, the sensors are cooled to -100 degrees Celsius using liquid nitrogen. The resulting sensitivity is about 10 million times greater than what we areable to see with the naked eye. These are, of course, not your average CCDs you would find in a digital camera. The industrial grade units were custom-ordered and reportedly cost about $30,000 perpiece.

Kron and Frieman stressed that the image data will get more exciting over time as it increases in detail. Time is actually doing the scientists a favor in this case.

It is commonly believedthat at 1 billion years of age, the universe consisted of 15% ordinary matter, 84% dark matter and 1% dark energy. At almost 9.5 billion years, dark energy gained an advantage to more than 50% shareand pushed dark matter to 43% and ordinary matter to 7%. Today, the universe is about 13.7 billion years old and it is assumed that ordinary matter is just 4% of the universe, while dark matter is 23%and dark energy 73%. While dark matter should actually slow down the expansion of the universe, it is dark matter that may have the opposite effect and cause the expansion.

However, dark energy islargely guesswork. There is no evidence and no one knows for sure that is responsible for the expansion of the universe. Its characteristics are pure speculation. Josh Frieman said that the projecthopes to find an answer whether it is dark energy that drives the expansion of the universe or if it there are gaps in our understanding and if there are other unknown components scientists are notaware of. There is even the notion that gravity could simply weaken over time.

Fermilab in Batavia, IL is currently completing work on one of the most sophisticated digital cameras ever built. The...
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