University of Portsmouth experts to help make map of the universe

St Johns CEC Primary School Summer Fair in 2017  Picture Credit: Keith Woodland

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A THREE-DIMENSIONAL map of the universe, reaching deeper in space and time than any yet made, is to be produced by an international team of 200 scientists.

And among those will be experts from the University of Portsmouth.

The high-resolution map will be produced using the dark energy spectroscopic instrument (DESI), an apparatus that will observe the light from more than 30m distant galaxies.

It is designed to improve our understanding of the mysterious ‘dark energy’, and how it affects the expansion history of the universe.

Professor Will Percival, is from the university’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation.

He said: ‘Since the discovery that the expansion of the universe is accelerating, astrophysicists have been trying to understand the physical process driving the acceleration.

‘They cannot do this using known physical laws and materials.

‘DESI will enable an awesome experiment: the results will be a factor of 10 better than we have at the moment. They will revolutionise our understanding of the universe.’