Today at Berkeley Lab

BigBOSS Receives Favorable Review

The National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) has announced its conditional approval of the BigBOSS Collaboration’s proposal to use 500 nights of valuable observing time on the NOAO 4 meter Mayall Telescope on Kitt Peak, Arizona. The time would be used to build the biggest-ever map of the universe, for investigating the mysterious dark energy that permeates the universe. “Approving BigBOSS to use the Mayall Telescope is the first step toward an ambitious program to explore the expansion of the universe in detail,” says Berkeley Lab physicist David Schlegel, principal investigator of the BigBOSS Collaboration. More>

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  1. Paul Preuss says:

    Hi Eric —

    It would be good to check this with a cosmologist or astrophysicist, of which the Lab has many, but I don’t think dark energy explains the expanding universe (to the extent that it explains anything) — instead it’s necessary to account for the fact that expansion is accelerating instead of slowing down. For some time after the big bang (and subsequent quick inflation), everything in the universe was still relatively close together, and its mutual gravitational attraction did put the brakes on expansion. But after the universe had expanded enough, gravity lost the battle to dark energy, whatever it is, which is pushing things apart ever faster by stretching space.

  2. Eric Henson says:

    If Dark Energy can explain the expanding universe, do we still need a Big Bang theory? Or could a universe with Dark Energy present have begun some other way?