Monday, January 24, 2022

A new dark matter map showing millions of galaxies could reveal mysteries of the universe

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The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) in Arizona, USA, can create the largest 3D map of the Universe, locating over a staggering 7.5 million galaxies

A specially modified telescope in the US could hold the key to revealing the universe as it helps create the largest 3D map yet of 7.5 million galaxies.

The Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory in the Sonoran Desert, Arizona, has been outfitted with the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI).

The system is capable of producing a 3D map that can locate millions of galaxies, far exceeding the previous record of around 930,000 set in 2008.

A collaboration between the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California and scientists from around the world, the capabilities of this technology should enable scientists to better understand dark energy.

Scientists believe studying dark energy will help them learn more about how the universe is expanding.

Speaking to Space.com, Julien Guy, a physicist at Berkeley Lab said, “It’s very beautiful.

“There are huge clusters, filaments and voids in the distribution of galaxies in the 3D map.

“They are the largest structures in the universe. But in them you find an imprint of the very early Universe and the history of its expansion since then.”

Work on the implementation of DESI started in 2015-2019, but the instrument was not activated until 2021.

The instrument is only about a tenth of its five-year mission to develop the full 3D map.

According to the Berkeley Lab, DESI collects spectroscopic images of millions of galaxies spread across about a third of the sky.

Scientists hope the 3D maps will reveal the true depth of the sky as they attempt to measure the “imprint of waves in primordial plasma.”

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Although it will take time to understand the fate of the universe, DESI is already making breakthroughs with the technology that can help understand the galaxy over 10 billion years ago.

Ragadeepika Pucha, a PhD student in astronomy at the University of Arizona who works at DESI, said, “It’s pretty amazing.

“DESI will tell us more about the physics of galaxy formation and evolution.”

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