5000 Eyes: Mapping the Universe with DESI, a new planetarium show about the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI), recently had its Bay Area premiere at the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, CA, on March 8. This short video highlights the evening’s special guest speakers including Michael Witherell (Director of Berkeley Lab), Michael Levi (Director of DESI), Stephen Bailey (DESI Data System Manager), DESI researcher Claire Poppett (UC Berkeley Space Sciences Laboratory) and the film’s director and DESI graduate student, Claire Lamman (Center for Astrophysics, Harvard University).

“DESI is big, and there are hundreds of people who work on this and so many science schools,” said Lamman,“ so it was difficult to try and think about what we should put in a 20-minute movie. But one thing we really wanted to make sure to get across is that big advances in modern cosmology don’t just magically spring out of the heads of a few scientists, but that it takes a lot of people… with a wide variety of backgrounds.” Read more about Lamman’s experience making the film in this new DESI Blog post, 5000 Eyes: Creating the DESI Planetarium Film.

“We’re really proud to be the host Lab for DESI,” said Bekeley Lab Director Witherell. “They had a great vision how to go way beyond what had been done before, and then they turned that vision into reality and made this really remarkable instrument that is now operating in Arizona.”

Operating at the Kitt Peak National Observatory outside Tuscon, DESI is measuring the effect of dark energy on the expansion of the universe. By measuring the spectra of many galaxies at once, DESI researchers are constructing a large-scale 3D map of the structure of the Universe over one-third of the sky and 11 billion years of cosmic history.

DESI construction and its operations at the Mayall telescope are supported by the DOE Office of Science and by the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC), a DOE Office of Science user facility. Additional support for DESI is provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Science and Technologies Facilities Council of the United Kingdom, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), the National Council of Science and Technology of Mexico, the Ministry of Economy of Spain, and by the DESI member institutions. The DESI collaboration is honored to be permitted to conduct scientific research on Iolkam Du’ag (Kitt Peak), a mountain with particular significance to the Tohono O’odham Nation. View the full list of DESI collaborating institutions, and learn more about DESI here: www.desi.lbl.gov.

Chabot foyer - DESI planetarium show premiere on March 8, 2023

Learn More

5000 Eyes: Creating the DESI Planetarium Film
April 7, 2023 / Claire Lamman / DESI Blog

Premiere of Planetarium Show ‘5000 Eyes: Mapping the Universe with DESI’
April 5, 2023 / Berkeley Lab YouTube Video (Watch time: 2:18)

5000 Eyes: Mapping the Universe with DESI
March 2, 2023 / Fiske Planetarium YouTube Video (Watch time: 22:40)

New DESI Planetarium Show to Premiere in Spring 2023
February 27, 2023 / Marsha Fenner / Berkeley Lab News Center