Map of Dark Matter Made from Gravitational Lensing

High Energy Physics Institute at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (IFAE – UAB)

IFAE led two of the 12 DES papers containing the cosmological results obtained from the analysis of the first-year data of the survey.

Four Spanish research centres, including two awarded a Severo Ochoa distinction and one awarded a Maria de Maeztu, belong to the Dark Energy Survey (DES) Collaboration, an international, collaborative effort to map hundreds of millions of galaxies, detect thousands of supernovae, and find patterns of cosmic structure that will reveal the nature of the mysterious dark energy that is accelerating the expansion of our Universe.

The DES-Spain group is integrated by the Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT), the Institut de Ciències de l’Espai (IEEC-CSIC), the Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE), and the Instituto de Física Teórica (UAM-CSIC). DES-Spain is one of the founding partners of the DES collaboration, and contributed both to the technical development of the project and to the physics program.

Most accurate measurement of the dark matter structure in the Universe

On August 2017, the Dark Energy Survey announced the measurement of the distribution of dark matter in the present-day cosmos. The new result was made with a precision that, for the first time, rivaled that of inferences coming from signals from the early Universe measured by the European Space Agency’s orbiting Planck observatory. Most notably, this result supports the theory that 26 percent of the Universe is in the form of dark matter and that space is filled with an also-unseen mysterious dark energy, which is causing the accelerating expansion of the universe and makes up 70 percent of it.

These results were published in a series of 12 papers containing the main cosmological results obtained from the analysis of the first-year data of the Dark Energy Survey, covering some 1500 sq. deg.  The group at Institut de Física d’Altes Energies (IFAE) led two of these 12 DES papers, dealing with the measurement of the correlation between the shapes of distant galaxies and the positions of closer galaxies (“galaxy-galaxy lensing”), and the development of a method to constrain the redshift distribution of distant galaxies through the measurement of angular correlations with a sample of galaxies of known redshift, respectively. The full set of papers can be found at the Dark Energy Survey website.