BERKELEY, Calif., May 24, 2021 — The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) has begun its five-year search for dark energy. The device, housed at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Ariz., will aim its robotic array of 5000 fiber optic “eyes” at the night sky to gather and study the light from tens of millions of galaxies and other distant objects within the universe.
The five-year survey’s official start follows a four-month trial run of its custom instrumentation that captured spectra from four million galaxies — more than the combined output of all previous spectroscopic surveys.
Star trails take shape around the 14-story Mayall Telescope dome in this long-exposure image. The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument was installed inside this dome. Courtesy of P. Marenfeld