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Astronomers At The University Of Utah Build A New Telescopic Instrument

DESI Collaboration; Legacy Surveys; NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA
"DESI’s 5000 spectroscopic “eyes” can cover an area of sky about 38 times larger than that of the full moon, as seen in this overlay of DESI’s focal plane on the night sky (top). " -";s:3:"u


The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, known as DESI, was made to sensitively measure pockets of dark energy and gauge their distances from the earth. This began when post doctoral researchers like Sarah Eftekharzadeh at the University of Utah decided photos of the galaxy weren’t enough. 

“We don’t know anything about our universe other than taking pictures of the sky,” Dr. Eftekharzadeh said. “We have this general knowledge, but we really didn’t have the exact distance. We didn’t need to make another instrument to take pictures again.” 


According to Eftekharzadeh, the significance of DESI is its size. 

“Imagine how long it takes, we have millions of galaxies to measure,” Eftekharzadeh said. “DESI has the capacity to look at five galaxies at the same time.” 

David Peak, a physics professor at Utah State University, is excited about the research. 

“This is about the origin and the fate of the universe, what could be more exciting than that?” he said. 

He also expressed his skepticism about DESI’s potential. 

“If somehow these different ideas are reconciled, then that would be interesting; but if they’re not reconciled, that may be even more interesting,” Peak said. “In order to tell how far away an early galaxy is, you need to be able to identify its distance in a unique way.” 

The magnitude of this research has given Eftekharzadeh a new perspective. 

“It makes you understand how insignificant we are in the universe, yet how powerful the brain power of all of you humans are,” Eftekharzadeh said.