Since the 1998 discovery that the universe is expanding, physicists have been searching for ways to account for dark energy, the placeholder-term for the unknown force behind this expansion. Nearly 20 years later, we still know very little bit about dark energy. Scientists from many institutions in 23 countries have since collaborated, and descended on the South-American nation of Chile to construct the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope (LSST), a megalithic digital camera is powerful enough to capture light from billions of faint galaxies millions of light years away.
This is of paramount importance, especially in view of the glaring discrepancy betwixt our map of the early universe and its present-day structure.
“All the existing telescopes with cameras were built before the discovery of dark energy,” Brookhaven National Laboratory Senior Scientist Paul O’Connor said to Atlas Obscura. “We expect the LSST to map the entire sky and find out where all that dark matter has been hiding.”