The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is a brand-new instrument installed at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (KPNO). It’s ready to come online, and it follows on the heels of the DESI Legacy Imaging Surveys.
This ambitious six-year project involved over 1400 nights of observations, three ground-based telescopes, several years’ worth of space telescope data, 150 observers, and another 50 researchers from all over the world. It included one petabyte of data and 100 million CPU hours on one of the most powerful computers. All to create a two-dimensional map of the sky in preparation for mapping the sky in three dimensions using this new instrument, a survey which is expected to take another five years.
The current map covers half of the sky and contains 10 trillion pixels. Ten. Trillion.