IFAE joins the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

By January 27, 2017IFAE

The Observational Cosmology group at the Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE) has joined the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST) project, together with ICE (IEEC-CSIC), CIEMAT and IFT/UAM, in what is known as the Barcelona-Madrid Group.

The Cosmology Group at IFAE is focused on studying the large scale structure of the universe with observational techniques to try to understand the so-called “dark energy”, the mysterious component that drives the accelerated expansion of the universe.

In addition to the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, the group is part of four international collaborations based at different astronomical observatories. These include the Dark Energy Survey (DES) in Chile, Physics of the Accelerating Universe (PAU) in La Palma, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) in Arizona, and Euclid, a future satellite by the European Space Agency (ESA).

By joining LSST the Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE) is consolidating its observational cosmology research agenda and ensuring its participation in the top international projects in the near future in order to study the 14-billion-year history of cosmic expansion with high precision.

Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST)

LSST is now under construction and will be located on the El Peñón peak of Cerro Pachón, a 2,682-meter-high mountain in northern Chile which has extraordinary natural conditions for astronomical observations. The on-site construction began on April 2015 and full operations for a ten-year survey are expected to start in 2023.

Equipped with a 3-billion pixel digital camera (the world’s largest digital camera), LSST will observe objects as they change or move, providing insight into short-lived transient events such as astronomical explosions and the orbital paths of potentially hazardous asteroids. LSST will take more than 800 panoramic images of the sky each night, allowing for detailed maps of the Milky Way and of our own solar system and charting billions of remote galaxies. Its observations will probe the imprints of dark matter and dark energy on the evolution of the universe.

For more information on the IFAE website.