Cosmology and Black Holes with the Dark Energy Survey
With the Dark Energy Survey (DES) over five years we are observing about 300 million galaxies, expect to discover about 3000 supernovae, and are getting time-lapse measurements of almost 800 Active Galactic Nuclei. We have just completed the fourth year of a five-year observing campaign, and so we're in a great position to derive exciting new results with the data. DES involves almost 500 researchers on five continents, and uses the purpose built 570-megapixel camera on the CTIO4m telescope in Chile for images, and our 400-optical fibre spectrograph on the Anglo-Australian Telescope for follow-up spectra.
Several projects are available. One will be using type Ia supernovae to measure the acceleration of the expansion of the universe and the clustering of matter within it, to test models of dark energy, dark matter, and advanced theories of gravity. Another will be measuring the mass of supermassive black holes at the hearts of active galaxies, and how those masses have evolved over the last 12 billion years. Yet another will be searching for black holes in our own galaxy using microlensing, quantifying how much they could contribute to dark matter and searching for local counterparts to the systems detected by the gravitational wave detector LIGO.