An international team of scientists has created the most detailed 3D map of the universe yet, with astrophysicists revealing details of the first 7.5 million galaxies of the 35 million. The stunning image shows the cosmic web of galaxies stretching back billions of light years. And this is just the beginning of the project, which will last seven months old. The research, which will help explain dark energy, a force that makes up 68 percent of the universe and fuels its expansion, is expected to take a total of five years to complete.
Scientists use the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) for the project and have built a component with 5,000 optical fibers that expand the telescope’s field of view. The project is adding galaxies every month at the rate of about a million. When the map is complete, with data dating back to 11 billion years ago, it is expected to help astronomers understand the origin of the universe and where it is headed.
“This one [project] will help us look for clues about the nature of dark energy. We will also learn more about dark matter and the role it plays in how galaxies like the Milky Way form and how the universe evolves,” said Professor Carlos Frenk of Durham University’s Institute for Computational Cosmology. BBC.
The researchers are also trying to use the data to find out how medium-sized black holes in small galaxies behave. After mapping 7.5 million galaxies, DESI aims to have an additional 27.5 million galaxies by the end of its run in 2026.
Victoria Fawcett, a PhD researcher at Durham University’s Center for Extragalactic Astronomy who is also involved in the project, said DESI catalogs much fainter and redder objects than previously discovered. “We’re finding quite a few exotic systems, including large samples of rare objects that we just haven’t been able to study in detail before,” she said.
DESI is installed on the Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope in Arizona.
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