Explore the Site of a New Telescope Survey That Will Map the Universe in 3-D

Kitt Peak National Observatory at dusk. DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Inst

Kitt Peak National Observatory at dusk. DESI, the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument, is housed within the Mayall Telescope dome (right). (Credit: Marilyn Sargent/Berkeley Lab)




RSVP: Send an email to [email protected] by Friday, Feb. 28, to register to attend, and we will let you know if space is still available on the tour.

You are invited to attend a mid-April dedication of the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), which is scheduled to begin its five-year mission to construct a 3D map of the universe in the coming months.

DESI, installed on the 4-meter Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, uses an automated, robotic array of 5,000 swiveling positioners to point fiber-optic cables at sequences of galaxies to capture their light. In all, it will gather light from 35 million galaxies and 2.4 million brilliant objects known as quasars.

Specialized instruments called spectrographs will measure the properties of this light to produce the largest 3D map of the universe yet, stretching back up to 11 billion years into the universe’s early history. The survey seeks more precise measurements of mysterious dark energy, which is accelerating the universe’s expansion rate.

A reception is planned Friday, April 17, 2020, in Tucson, Arizona, that will include talks by DESI project and supporting agencies’ officials.

We are working to arrange a special media tour of the DESI instrument at the Kitt Peak site on Thursday, April 16, and will pass along the details to all approved media as soon as available. Please email [email protected] or call (510) 590-8034 to register to attend this tour and dedication event, as space is limited. Registration does not guarantee your participation in the site tour - we may need to limit attendance for the tour based on head-count limitations at the Kitt Peak site. Interviews with DESI scientists can be arranged ahead of your visit.

Please let us know by Friday, Feb. 28:

  • Do you plan to join the Media Tour at Kitt Peak on Thursday, April 16?
  • Would you like to attend the DESI Dedication Reception Event in Tucson, Arizona, on Friday, April 17?
  • Would you like to arrange interviews with DESI scientists in Tucson on April 16 or April 17? If so, please provide details about your request.
  • There is also the potential for some media to attend a Friday, April 17 tour of the Kitt Peak site that will include project and science agency officials. If there is space available, would you like to attend this tour event?
  • Learn more about DESI:

    • DESI website: https://www.desi.lbl.gov/
    • DESI Opens Its 5,000 Eyes to Capture the Colors of the Cosmos (Oct. 28, 2019)
    • Dark Energy Instrument’s Lenses See the Night Sky for the First Time (April 3, 2019)
    • DESI Survey on Twitter: @desisurvey
    • Information about the Mayall Telescope: https://www.noao.edu/outreach/kptour/mayall.html


    Note: If you are confirmed to attend the Media Tour event at Kitt Peak, you will be responsible for arranging your own transportation to the Kitt Peak site. Please read the detailed description about your site visit here: https://www.noao.edu/kpvc/Plan/ .

    Details about visiting Kitt Peak:

    This Kitt Peak website, https://www.noao.edu/kpno , includes information about refraining from photography on terrain surrounding Kitt Peak because of its cultural importance to the Tohono O’odham Nation. Also note that mobile phone use is prohibited for calls and data transfers at Kitt Peak, and non-citizen visitors are advised to bring a passport because of a nearby U.S. Border Control checkpoint. The nearly 7,000-foot altitude of the summit can also pose health issues for some. Please let us know if you have additional questions or needs that are not covered by this website.

    Any questions’ Please email [email protected] .

    (510) 486-5582 office, (510) 520-0843 mobile

    Laurel Kellner, [email protected]

    (510) 486-5375 office, (510) 590-8034 mobile

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