Astronomers create the largest ever 3D map of the cosmos

You may have heard of Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Department of Energy. We reported on the project way back in 2016, when the team of scientists launched 5,000 small robots into space to help develop the first map of the universe beyond the earth.

So in 2017, we reported how the project had created a 3D map of our galaxy’s space dust. The map managed to plot every single dust found in our galaxy to clean up the deep space and measure the accelerating rate of expansion of the universe.

Now, DESI has revealed that it has finally created the largest and most detailed map of the universe ever. As impressive as this achievement may be, DESI notes that it has only 10% completed its five-year mission.

“There’s a lot of beauty in it,” said Berkeley Lab researcher Julien Guy. “In the distribution of the galaxies in the 3D map, there are huge clusters, filaments and cavities. They are the largest structures in the universe. But in them you will find an imprint of the very early universe and the history of its expansion since then.”

DESI had to overcome many obstacles to achieve this impressive achievement. During the coronavirus pandemic, the telescope had to be shut down, and it was not until December 2020 that it could begin exploring the sky again. Despite these problems, it was fortunately ready to start its scientific study in May 2021.

However, that was not the end of the DESI team’s input to the telescope. “It is constant work that continues to perform this instrument,” concluded physicist Klaus Honscheid of Ohio State University, co-instrumentalist on the project. It is work that has yielded good results by delivering an unprecedented card that will one day help us understand the past and future of the universe.

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