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When Dark Energy turned on

30 March 2012. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-III) today announced the most accurate measurements yet of the distances to galaxies in the faraway universe, giving an unprecedented look at the time when the universe first began to accelerate. From different perspectives six publications, which have been published online now, address the question of “Dark Energy“, the unknown force that drives our Universe apart.
When Dark Energy turned on

The record of baryon acoustic oscillations helps astronomers to retrace the history of the expanding universe. (Credits:E.M. Huff, the SDSS-III team, and the South Pole Telescope team. Graphic by Zosia Rostomian. )

Full text of the press release by the SDSS collaboration, including high-resolution image:

Sebastian Nuza of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) is among the co-authors. His specialization are numerical simulations of cosmological structure formation and predictions of the clustering of galaxies. All published results together allow for the most complete view of the distant Universe and are an important step towards understanding what drives its expansion.


Further Information:


Science contact
Dr. Sebastian Nuza, +49 331-7499-414

Press contact
Dr. Gabriele Schönherr / Kerstin Mork, Tel.: +49 331 7499 383



Funding for SDSS-III has been provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Participating Institutions, the National Science Foundation, and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. The SDSS-III web site is SDSS-III is managed by the Astrophysical Research Consortium for the Participating Institutions of the SDSS-III Collaboration including the University of Arizona, the Brazilian Participation Group, Brookhaven National Laboratory, University of Cambridge, Carnegie Mellon University, University of Florida, the French Participation Group, the German Participation Group, Harvard University, the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias, the Michigan State/Notre Dame/JINA Participation Group, Johns Hopkins University, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics, Max Planck Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics, New Mexico State University, New York University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Portsmouth, Princeton University, the Spanish Participation Group, University of Tokyo, University of Utah, Vanderbilt University, University of Virginia, University of Washington, and Yale University.

About the AIP

The key topics of the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics are cosmic magnetic fields and extragalactic astrophysics. A considerable part of the institute's efforts aim at the development of research technology in the fields of spectroscopy, robotic telescopes, and e-science. The AIP is the successor of the Berlin Observatory founded in 1700 and of the Astrophysical Observatory of Potsdam founded in 1874. The latter was the world's first observatory to emphasize explicitly the research area of astrophysics. The AIP is a foundation according to civil law and is a member of the Leibniz Association. The Leibniz Association is a network of 86 independent research institutes and scientific service facilities, which strive for scientific solutions for major social challenges.