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  Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)



 Context: DESI’s groundbreaking project harnesses 5,000 robots to peer 11 billion years into the past, revealing unprecedented insights into our expanding universe.

It found the most precise measurement of the universe expansion rate at a rate of 68.5 (±0.6) kilometres per second per megaparsec (a million parsec; 1 parsec equals 3.2616 light years).

DESI made a huge 3D map to study dark energy’s impact over 11 billion years. In the Lambda CDM model, matter and dark energy affect the universe’s expansion differently: matter slows it, while dark energy speeds it up. Both dark energy and dark matter dominate the universe, comprising about 95% of it.


What is DESI?

DESI is a project aimed at mapping the universe to study dark energy’s effects over billions of years. It is the product of an international collaboration that brings together researchers from more than 70 institutions (including from India). It is a ground-based dark energy experiment, located on the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory (USA)