This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

The making of the largest 3D map of the universe

15 April 2019

DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, will mobilise 5,000 swivelling robots – each one pointing a thin strand of fibre-optic cable – to gather light from 35 million galaxies.

The little robots are designed to fix on a series of preselected sky objects that are as distant as 12 billion light-years away. By studying how these galaxies are drifting away from us, DESI will provide precise measurements of the accelerating rate at which the universe is expanding.

This expansion rate is caused by an invisible force known as dark energy, which is one of the biggest mysteries in astrophysics and accounts for an estimated 68 percent of all mass and energy in the universe.

In the video, DESI project participants share their insight and excitement about the project and its potential for new and unexpected discoveries.

To learn more about DESI and the DESI collaboration, visit

Video courtesy of Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab, DESI Collaboration

Print this page | E-mail this page