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  • The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument sits atop the Mayall 4-Meter Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. DESI’s early data gathered in 2020 and 2021 is now publicly available. Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab
  • A slice through the 3-D map of galaxies from the completed Sloan Digital Sky Survey (left) and from the first few months of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI; right). Credit: D. Schlegel/Berkeley Lab using data from DESI
  • Mayall telescope on the inside. Credits: DESI.

A 3D map of the universe

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) will measure the effect of dark energy on the expansion of the universe. It will obtain optical spectra for tens of millions of galaxies and quasars, constructing a 3D map spanning the nearby universe to 11 billion light years.

An instrument to collect galaxy spectra

The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is a Stage IV ground-based dark energy experiment that will study baryon acoustic oscillations (BAO) and the growth of structure through redshift-space distortions (RSD) with a wide-area galaxy and quasar redshift survey. This powerful instrument will be installed at prime focus on the 4-m Mayall telescope in Kitt Peak, Arizona, along with a new optical corrector, which will provide a three- degree diameter field of view. The DESI collaboration will also deliver a spectroscopic pipeline and data management system to reduce and archive all data for eventual public use. The DESI instrument will be used to conduct a five-year survey designed to cover 14,000 deg2. In total, more than 30 million galaxy and quasar redshifts will be obtained to measure the BAO feature and determine the matter power spectrum, including redshift space distortions

A new quasar discovered using DESI gives a glimpse of the universe as it was nearly 13 billion years ago, less than a billion years after the Big Bang. Credit: Jinyi Yang, Steward Observatory/University of Arizona

ICE-CSIC's participation

The ICE-CSIC participates in the DESI project as part of the BCN-MAD Regional Participation Group (RPG), composed of ICE-CSIC, IFAE, CIEMAT and IFT. We represent our RGP in the DESI Institutional Board. Our RPG is responsible for delivering the Guiding, Focus and Alignment units of DESI's focal plane. We are also responsible for delivering the guiding software for the instrument. We lead the Image Validation Working Group and participate in other Working Groups.


Senior institute members involved

Meet the senior researchers who lead our participation in the DESI mission.

  • Martin Crocce

    Martin Crocce

  • Francisco Javier Castander

    Francisco J. Castander

  • Pablo Fosalba

    Pablo Fosalba

  • Enrique Gaztañaga

    Enrique Gaztañaga