The Universe is dark — it consists predominantly of dark energy and dark matter. They comprise 95% of our Universe, and are responsible for its expansion and for holding the galaxies together, though we don’t know entirely what they are! The discoveries of these were just two of the many occasions upon which the Universe taught us to expect the unexpected. Find out about some of these cosmic revelations and how with new observations from the Dark Energy Survey, cosmologists are looking for more surprises. This survey is mapping hundreds of millions of galaxies and other objects in the night sky. By looking for tiny distortions in the shapes of galaxies as their light is deflected by dark matter on its way to us, the Dark Energy Survey will shed light on the dark mysteries of the Universe.
Dr. Alexandra Amon is a Kavli Fellow at Stanford University. After growing up in the Caribbean, on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, she was awarded an Island Scholarship for an undergraduate degree anywhere in the world, which took her to the University of Edinburgh. She completed her doctorate at the University of Edinburgh in 2018, and received the Royal Astronomical Society’s prize for the best thesis in the field.
Alex is a cosmologist who uses observations of galaxies to understand dark energy and dark matter. Alex works as part of the Dark Energy Survey (DES): a large international collaboration of scientists, working to map the galaxies over a large fraction of the sky and measure the structure of the Universe. Alex co-leads the team within DES working to locate millions of galaxies and detect the minuscule distortions in their shapes that arise as their starlight is deflected by dark matter on its journey across the Universe. With this information, her team can test the model that describes our universe.
You can follow her ‘space facts’ on Instagram @astroalexamon