Scientists create largest 3D map of the cosmos
Ohio State University scientists are collaborating on an international effort to produce a 3D map of the universe in unprecedented detail, allowing physicists and astronomers a clearer understanding of dark energy and yielding more insights into the universe’s past and future.
Though it’s only about 10% through its five-year mission, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) has capped off the first seven months of its survey run by smashing through all previous records for three-dimensional galaxy surveys, creating the largest map of the universe ever.
The survey’s technical performance and cosmic achievements are also helping scientists reveal the secrets of the most powerful sources of light in the universe. DESI scientists will present on the instrument’s performance and early astrophysics results this week at a Berkeley Lab-hosted webinar, CosmoPalooza, which will also feature updates from other leading cosmology experiments.
“The goal of DESI is to understand one of the greatest mysteries in science today: Why is the expansion of the universe accelerating?” said Paul Martini, former DESI instrument scientist and professor of astronomy at Ohio State. “We cannot explain cosmic acceleration by the known laws of physics, so the answer to this question will be incredibly exciting, no matter what it is.”
Photo: Star trails over the Nicholas U. Mayall 4-meter Telescope on Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona. (Credit: KPNO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/P. Marenfeld)