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The Department of Energy is building a tool to map the universe in 3D

The organization’s Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is a machine consisting of 10 “petals” filled with 500 holes each, according to Berkeley Lab’s news center. In each hole is a robot that helps point fiber-optic cables to the sky to capture light from celestial bodies across 35 million galaxies. Competition and instillation of DESI will take place at the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona next year with DESI fully operational in 2019. When DESI is completed it will be able to capture ten times as much data (aka light) as its predecessor, says Berkeley Labs:

This light will tell us about the properties of the galaxies, stars, and quasars, and most importantly, how quickly they are moving away from us—light from objects that are moving away from us is shifted to redder wavelengths (“redshift”). These details can help us learn more about the nature of dark energy that is driving the accelerating expansion of the universe. DESI’s observations will provide a deep look back in time, up to about 11 billion years ago.

[Image: Joe Silber/Berkeley Lab]MG