News & Updates

17 March 2014
Tracking HET’s Progress

7 October 2013
VIRUS Units Come Together

9 September 2013
Last Look at Sky Before Upgrade

10 May 2013
Mirror Coating Smooths the Way for HET Upgrade

 Dark energy is not only terribly important for astronomy, it's the central problem for physics. It's been the bone in our throat for a long time.”

Steven Weinberg
Nobel Laureate
University of Texas at Austin




A video introduction to dark energy, narrated by StarDate's Sandy Wood - Play video



The explosive death of a star. There are two basic varieties of supernovae. One forms when the core of a massive star collapses and its outer layers blast into space. The other forms when a white dwarf star (the exposed, dense core of a once-normal star like the Sun) steals gas from a companion star. When enough gas builds up, it triggers a runaway reaction that blasts the star to bits. The brightness of a white-dwarf supernova, known as a Type Ia, varies in a predictable way, making them good "standard candles" for measuring distances to remote galaxies. Type Ia supernovae are used as a probe for evaluating different models of dark energy.

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