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Photo of galactic ballet by modern dark energy camera

The interactive galaxy pair NGC 1512 and NGC 1510 take center stage in this image taken by the Dark Energy Camera, the latest wide-field camera of the 4-meter Victor M. Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, NSF’s NOIRLab program. NGC 1512 has been merging with its smaller galactic neighbor for 400 million years, and this long-term interaction has triggered waves of star formation and deformed both galaxies. Credit & Copyright: Dark Energy Research/DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA. Image Processing: TA Chancellor (University of Alaska Anchorage/NOIRLab NSF), J. Miller (Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab NSF), M. Frome Martin. (NOIRLab NSF)

The Dark Energy Camera, funded by the Department of Energy at NSF’s NOIRLab in Chile, captures a pair of galaxies creating a gravitational twin.

The pair of interacting galaxies NGC 1512 and NGC 1510 take center stage in this image taken by the US Department of Energy Dark Energy Camera, the latest 570-megapixel wide-angle image taken by the 4-m Victor M. Blanco Telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Center. Observatory. This is an affiliate program of NSF NOIRLab. NGC 1512 has been merging with its smaller galactic neighbor for 400 million years, and this long-term interaction has triggered waves of star formation.

The barrier spiral galaxy NGC 1512 (left) and its smaller galaxy NGC 1510 in this observation (image at the top of the article) were captured by the 4-meter Victor M. Blanco telescope. This image not only shows NGC 1512’s intricate internal structure, but also the galaxy’s faint outer outgrowths, which are expanding and appearing to surround their smaller companion. The stream of starlight connecting two galaxies is evidence of the gravitational interaction between them – a luxurious and elegant connection that lasted 400 million years. Gravitational interactions between NGC 1512 and NGC 1510 have affected the rate of star formation in both galaxies and distorted their shape. Finally, NGC 1512 and NGC 1510 will merge into one large galaxy – a long example of galactic evolution.

Wider frame of NGC 1512 Image Credit & Copyright: Dark Energy Survey/DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA Image Processing: TA Chancellor (University of Alaska Anchorage/NOIRLab NSF), J. Miller (Gemini Observatory) /NSF’s NOIRLab), M. de Martin (NOIRLab NSF)

These interacting galaxies are located in the direction of the constellation of the Clock in the southern celestial hemisphere and are approximately 60 million light-years from Earth. The wide field of view of this observation reveals not only entangled galaxies, but also their stellar surroundings. The frame is filled with bright stars inside the[{”attribute=””>MilkyWayandsetagainstthebackgroundofevenmoredistantgalaxies[{»attribute=»»>MilkyWayandissetagainstabackdropofevenmoredistantgalaxies[{”attribute=””>МлечногоПутиирасположеннафонеещеболеедалекихгалактик[{ »attribute= » »>MilkyWayandissetagainstabackdropofevenmoredistantgalaxies

The image was captured using one of the most powerful wide-angle tools in the world, the Dark Energy Camera (DECam). This instrument is mounted on top of the 4 meter Victor M. Blanco Telescope and its vantage point allows it to collect starlight reflected by the telescope’s 4 meter (13 ft) wide mirror, massive, covered in aluminium, and precisely shaped like a piece of glass about the weight of a semi trailer. After passing through the DECam’s optical innards, including a correction lens nearly a meter (3.3 feet) in diameter, starlight is captured by a grid of 62 charge-coupled devices (CCDs). These CCDs are similar to conventional digital camera sensors, but are much more sensitive and allow the instrument to produce detailed images of faint astronomical objects such as NGC 1512 and NGC 1510.

Galaxy NGC 1512 Wider

An even wider view of NGC 1512. Credit & Copyright: Dark Energy Research/DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA. Image Processing: TA Chancellor (University of Alaska Anchorage/NOIRLab NSF), J. Miller (Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab NSF), M. Zamani and D. de Martin (NOIRLab NSF)

Large astronomical instruments such as the DECam are custom-made masterpieces of optical engineering, requiring enormous efforts from astronomers, engineers and technicians before the first images can be obtained. With funding from the United States Department of Energy (DOE) and with assistance from international partners, DECam was built and tested at DOE Fermilab, where scientists and engineers built a “telescope simulator” – a replica of the upper segments of the Víctor M. Blanco 4-. meter telescope, allowing them to rigorously test the DECam before shipping to Cerro Tololo in Chile.

DECam was created to carry out the Dark Energy Study (DES), a six-year observational campaign (2013-2019) involving more than 400 scientists from 25 institutions in seven countries. This international collaborative effort aims to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and discover subtle patterns in cosmic structure – all to gain much-needed details about the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of the universe. Today, DECam is still used as software by scientists around the world to continue its legacy of cutting-edge science.

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