Building a Giant 2D Map of the Universe to Prepare for the Largest 3D Map

Before DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, can begin its 5-year mission from an Arizona mountaintop to produce the largest 3D sky map yet, researchers first needed an even bigger 2D map of the universe.

Read more

Lab Researcher and Physics Undergrad Shares Poster Project Honoring Black Physicists

Inspired by the nation’s grappling with issues of race and racial discrimination, UC Berkeley physics major and Berkeley Lab student assistant Ana Lyons turned to art as a way to contribute to the conversation.

Read more

Natalie Roe Named Berkeley Lab’s Associate Director for Physical Sciences

Natalie Roe, who joined Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) as a postdoctoral fellow in 1989 and has served as Physics Division director since 2012, has been named the Lab’s Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for the Physical Sciences Area. Her appointment was approved by the University of California. The announcement follows an international search.

Read more

Five thousand eyes on the skies: Scientists choreograph robots to observe distant galaxies

Scientists have begun operating the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, or DESI, to create a 3-D map of over 30 million galaxies and quasars that will help them understand the nature of dark energy. The new instrument is the most advanced of its kind, with 5,000 robotic positioners that will enable scientists to gather more than 20 times more data than previous surveys. Researchers at Fermilab helped develop the software that will direct these positioners to focus on galaxies several billion light-years away and are currently in the process of fine-tuning the programs used before the last round of testing later this year.

Read more

Now Complete, Telescope Instrument is Poised to Begin Its Search for Answers About Dark Energy

Even as the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, or DESI, lies dormant within a telescope dome on a mountaintop in Arizona, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DESI project has moved forward in reaching the final formal approval milestone prior to startup.

Read more

DESI Team Prepares for Telescope Instrument’s Restart after Unexpected Shutdown

Despite a temporary shutdown of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument in Arizona – which was in its final stages of testing in preparation to begin mapping millions of galaxies in 3D when the pandemic struck – a variety of project tasks are still moving forward.

Read more

Looking Up From the Mountaintop: Q&A with a Telescope Instrument’s Lead Observer

In this Q&A Satya Gontcho A Gontcho, a lead observer for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), shares her experiences at the DESI site near Tucson, Arizona, including evening observing stints to run through detailed checklists and probe how the instrument’s components are working.

Read more