Scientists have created the largest two-dimensional map of the Universe, they want to make a 3D map out of it.
The two-dimensional map was created from 200,000 telescope images and satellite data that were collected over several years. However, it still lacks information about the distances to galaxies. The DESI mission is slated to provide this data, as well as other useful details such as color signatures and redshifts of galaxies and quasars.
For the creation of this map, scientists collected images and stitched them together for six years: during the entire work, 150 observers and 50 other researchers from around the world were involved. All the information took up 1 petabyte of data: this amount of memory will fit about a million films.
This is the largest card in almost all respects. The map covers half of the sky and digitally spans over 10 trillion pixels.
David Schlegel, cosmologist and DESI researcher who led the imaging project known as DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys
The main purpose of the 2D map is to identify the galaxies and quasars that the DESI mission will capture in order to accurately determine their redshift and distance. This will give new details about the mysterious dark energy that is driving the accelerating expansion of the universe.
Over the past 7 billion years, the expansion of our universe has been gradually accelerating under the influence of mysterious dark energy: the goal of DESI is to accurately clarify this picture and uncover the concept of dark energy.