Cosmic distance measurements with reconstruction of the baryon acoustic peak : 
Jan 14, 2014

Cosmology data release; Sep 12, 2012

Press Release: ‘Dark Energy is Real’; May 19, 2011. 

The WiggleZ Dark Energy Survey is a large-scale galaxy redshift survey which was carried out over 276 nights at the Anglo-Australian Telescope between August 2006 and January 2011.  The survey is now complete.  WiggleZ has measured redshifts for almost 240,000 galaxies over 1000 square degrees of sky for look-back times up to 8 billion years (redshift z=1).  The aim of the project is to analyze the galaxy distribution in order to learn more about the nature of dark energy.

Dark energy appears to be the dominant component of our Universe and yet we have no physical understanding of its existence or magnitude. Determining the nature of dark energy has revolutionary implications for fundamental theories.  This is because dark energy is one of the only observable clues to the central dilemma of modern physics: quantum mechanics and Einstein's gravity, the two great accomplishments of twentieth-century physics, are mutually incompatible.

The WiggleZ Survey combines twin methods of probing the physics of dark energy: measurements of cosmic distance using the baryon acoustic oscillation standard ruler technique, and measurements of the growth of structure using redshift-space distortions.  Data from the WiggleZ Survey is also enabling a host of other tests of the cosmological model, including cosmic expansion via the Alcock-Paczynski effect, limits on the neutrino mass, tests of modified gravity models, measurements of the topology of the cosmic density field, and using higher-order clustering signatures to measure non-Gaussianity and galaxy bias.  WiggleZ is also being used to follow-up super-starburst galaxies at high-redshift, and measure the luminosity function and halo occupation of star-forming galaxies across cosmic epochs.

For a general introduction to WiggleZ and Dark Energy, please read our  Nova Page at the Australian Academy of Science.

    Survey Details:


Number of redshifts

Redshift range

Nature of targets

Target selection


Total Nights

Start/End date

AAOmega/2df spectrograph on Anglo Australian Telescope (AAT)


0.2 < z < 1.0 (5th to 95th percentile)

Blue emission-line galaxies

GALEX UV matched with SDSS/RCS2 optical

00, 01, 03, 09, 11, 15, 22 hr fields 


2006 / 2011

Image credit: Michael Drinkwater (UQ) and David Woods (UBC)