The world’s most detailed 3D map of the universe will soon be thanks to new upgrades in the Arizona Kitt Peak National Observatory.
The new component called Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) was installed on Wednesday.
Pending further construction is expected to end in 2019, DESI will begin a five-year sweep of the night sky. It will measure how the universe has expanded over time and gather better data about dark energy, the mysterious power that makes up the universe and actively activates its expansion.
DESI’s sensors will investigate a phenomenon known as red-shift. Just like how an ambulance seems to change as it passes you, the light appears to shift frequencies depending on whether the source moves toward or away from you.
When galaxies move from terrestrial observatories, the shift of light changes to the red side of the electromagnetic spectrum, depending on how fast they move. Other tools utilize the same phenomenon, but DESI will do the best.
DESI will adapt 5,000 small fiber optic cables to pick up light from 35 million distant galaxies in high resolution. Because dark gas’s constant shoving moves these galaxies move, DESI will pick up on how fast they move, giving scientists more accurate measurements of the impact of dark energy on the universe than ever collected before.
READ MORE: Top of a Telescope With New Utility to Explore Dark Energy [ Berkeley Lab News Center ]