First results: a map of the dark matter of the universe

Jonathan Webb, for BBC News:

Once the DES team has finished its map of dark matter, spreading its massive tendrils across the cosmos, they will be in a position to measure just how fast those tendrils, along with all the matter we can see, are flying apart.

This expansion of the universe is happening at an increasing rate, and dark energy is the force physicists have proposed to account for that increase.

“How fast the dark matter clumps together tells us about how fast the universe is being stretched apart,” explained Prof Bridle.