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“Most detailed map of the universe ever” being charted by DESI

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), an international collaboration including Perimeter researchers, has broken all previous records of galaxy mapping — and it is just getting started.

Artist's illustration of the baryon acoustic oscillation

The five-year mission of the DESI collaboration – to decipher the history and evolution of spacetime – only launched last May, yet has already created the most detailed map of galaxies in the history of astronomy. 

The DESI survey has already cataloged over 7.5 million galaxies and is adding more at a rate of over a million a month. In November 2021 alone, DESI cataloged redshifts from 2.5 million galaxies. By the end of its run in 2026, DESI is expected to have over 35 million galaxies in its catalog, enabling an enormous, and so far unsurpassed, variety of cosmology and astrophysics research. 

“We aim to observe on the order of 30 million galaxies,” says Will Percival, a Perimeter Associate Faculty member who is cross-appointed as a Distinguished Research Chair in Astrophysics at the University of Waterloo, where he is the director of the Waterloo Centre for Astrophysics.

Read the full news release about DESI’s discoveries and future. 


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