New 3D map of universe hints at nature of dark energy

Syllabus: GS-III, Subject: Science & Technology, Topic: Space Technology, Issue: Astronomical concepts

Context: DESI experiment

Details of Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) experiment:

  • DESI has 5,000 robotic ‘eyes’ capturing light from galaxies simultaneously.
  • DESI has observed 6 million galaxies, dating back as far as 11 billion years, creating a detailed three-dimensional map of the universe.

Significance of DESI experiment:

  • Precise measurements of galaxy distances have allowed scientists to map their distribution and movement over time.
  • DESI data suggests that the expansion rate of the universe is increasing at 68.5 km per second for every 3.26 million light years of expansion.
  • Some findings from DESI hint at changes in the energy density of dark energy, challenging established theoretical models.


  • DESI’s ongoing analysis of subsequent years’ data may provide further insights into dark energy and the fundamental physics of the universe.
Prelims Connect (Terms in news)

Dark Energy:

·                 Edwin Hubble’s observations in 1929 confirmed the universe’s expansion.

·                 In the late 1990s, scientists discovered the universe’s expansion was accelerating.

·                 This discovery led to the hypothesis of “dark” energy, explaining the accelerated expansion.

·                 Dark energy is thought to constitute nearly 70% of the universe.

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