Home > Astronomy, Cosmology, Dark Energy & Matter, Galaxies, General Astronomy > Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey Reveals Dark Secrets Of The Universe

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey Reveals Dark Secrets Of The Universe


At least a thousand distant galaxies can be identified on this image as little fuzzy dots. Credit: CFHT / Coelum

Astronomers from France and Canada have publicly released the final version of the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope Legacy Survey (CFHTLS), a unique and powerful multi-color collection of data obtained over 6 years from the summit of Mauna Kea. The imaging project probes an extremely large volume of the Universe, gathering tens of millions of galaxies, some as far as 9 billion light-years away, and provides a treasure trove for many years of astronomical research. This remarkable collection of data is a landmark achievement for CFHT and has inspired observatories around the world. The large number of published results from these images include dark matter maps on the largest scale ever observed and the first high-quality measurements which showed that dark energy closely resembles the cosmological constant that Albert Einstein predicted, but later thought might have been his greatest mistake.

The Legacy Survey observations began in 2003 and ended in 2009. Three more years were needed to accurately calibrate the huge volume of high-quality and homogeneous data obtained in five color-bands covering the optical domain from blue to red, including near-ultraviolet and near-infrared. The data revealed some 38 million objects, mostly very distant galaxies in various stages of evolution, across a combined area of sky totaling 155 square degrees (800 times the surface area of the full Moon as seen in the sky).

Full Story: http://www.cfht.hawaii.edu/en/news/CFHTLS/

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