Most detailed 3D map of universe released

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument accurately maps galaxy positions through time to help scientists better understand dark energy

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RT: The most detailed 3D map of the universe to date, showing the location of 7.5 million galaxies, has been published by the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) cosmic survey project.

The map, released on Thursday by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which is leading the project, is the result of the first seven months of DESI’s operations.

Each dot in the image represents an individual galaxy, consisting of between 100 billion and one trillion stars. The map shows the view from Earth for five billion light-years in the direction of the Virgo constellation, slowly shifting toward the Bootes constellation.



“There is a lot of beauty to it,” said Julien Guy, an astrophysicist at the Berkeley lab. “In the distribution of the galaxies in the 3D map, there are huge clusters, filaments, and voids. They’re the biggest structures in the universe. But within them, you find an imprint of the very early universe, and the history of its expansion since then.”

It’s just the start of DESI’s work, as the project aims to add more than a million new galaxies to the chart every month. When completed in 2026, the map is expected to include more than 35 million galaxies, providing astronomers with a massive array of data to study.

 

 

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