Astronomers are trying to track down dark energy but this time the focus is more on unraveling the nature of dark energy. This is still a major conundrum in the cosmos.

Till 1997 the model of cosmology was that of what was called the standard big bang model namely the universe was mostly made up of dark matter and just about 5% of ordinary matter which we see all around us in the form of atoms, molecules and so on. That year Dr. B.G. Sidharth, Director, B M Birla Science Centre put forward his completely contra theory of not so much dark matter-dominated universe that would come to a halt and collapse but rather a universe that consists of dark energy under the influence of which the universe would continue to not only expand but also accelerate. This contra model has confirmed the very next year thanks to the observations of Saul Perlmutter, Adam Reiss and B Schmidt who independently came to this conclusion. Since then the main question which remains to date is what exactly is dark energy.

In Sidharth’s theory it is the type of energy that permeates the entire universe—the simplest guess is what is called Zero Point Energy. Over the years though there have been some guesses, Dr. Sidharth says that there is still no convincing answer. Some of the guesses have been multiple universes on extra dimensions and so on.

Now a telescope in Arizona is trying yet again to fathom the answer. This telescope contains thousands of fiber optics each of which is like a telescope and it will scan thirty-five million galaxies in the hope that we may get a clue to dark energy. So interesting times are ahead.