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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 desi.lbl.gov.

Video courtesy of Marilyn Chung/Berkeley Lab, DESI Collaboration


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