This video describes the monumental effort that went into constructing a 2D map of the universe to prepare for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, which will produce the largest-ever 3D map of the universe.
The 2D map took 1,405 total observing nights over six years – at three telescopes on two continents – to build. It was pieced together from 200,000 images and several years of satellite data, and features more than 1 billion galaxies. This map is being used to select targets for DESI, which will capture the light from tens of millions of galaxies, and millions of quasars, to help us understand the accelerating expansion of the universe, caused by dark energy.
The final data release for the preparation of this 2D map, known as Data Release 9 or DR9, is scheduled to be distributed on Jan. 13, 2021.
Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory