Hobby-Eberly Telescope


Future Projects


Hobby-Eberly Telescope Dark Energy Experiment

Short Description:

HETDEX will be the first major experiment to search for dark energy. It will use the giant Hobby-Eberly Telescope at McDonald Observatory and a set of spectrographs to map the three-dimensional positions of one million galaxies.

During three years of observations, HETDEX will collect data on at least one million galaxies that are 9 billion to 11 billion light-years away, yielding the largest map of the universe ever produced. The map will allow HETDEX astronomers to measure how fast the universe was expanding at different times in its history. Changes in the expansion rate will reveal the role of dark energy at different epochs. Various explanations for dark energy predict different changes in the expansion rate, so by providing exact measurements of the expansion, the HETDEX map will eliminate some of the competing ideas.

Project Type:

Instrument and observing program for ground-based telescope

MPE Participation:

Member of the collaboration



Current plans call for full data-gathering operations to begin in 2014, with the survey completed three years late.

last update 2013-04-29 by H. Steinle

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