AAS 201st Meeting, January, 2003
Session 97. Probing Dark Energy with SNAP
Oral, Wednesday, January 8, 2003, 10:00-11:30am, 602-604

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[97.05] SNAP Near Infrared Observations

M. Schubnell (University of Michigan), SNAP Collaboration

It has now been firmly established that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate which is driven by a presently unknown form of "dark energy". Near infrared observations are essential to uncovering the nature of dark energy by measuring the equation-of-state of the universe versus redshift. The Supernova/Acceleration Probe (SNAP) can observe back into the matter dominated deceleration epoch to z = 1.7 to distinguish between the various forms of dark energy, e.g. cosmic strings, quintessence or a cosmological constant. The SNAP focal plane is instrumented with a wide field, large area imager equipped with equal coverage of large format optical CCDs and HgCdTe near infrared detectors. The wavelength reach into the infrared will greatly expand the SNAP science potential by high statistics, high-z, wide-field measurements not accessible with any other operational or proposed instrument. This includes study of weak and strong lensing, time variable objects, and the detailed population and distribution of galaxy types and stellar evolution.

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