The Extragalactic Background Light (EBL) at UV, optical and NIR wavelengths consists of the integrated light of all unresolved galaxies along the line of sight plus any contributions by intergalactic matter including hypothetical decaying relic particles. The measurement of the EBL has turned out to be a tedious problem. This is because of the foreground components of the night sky brightness, much larger than the EBL itself: the Zodiacal Light (ZL), Integrated Starlight (ISL), Diffuse Galactic Light (DGL) and, for ground-based observations, the Airglow (AGL) and the tropospheric scattered light. We have been developing a method for the EBL measurement which utilises the screening effect of a dark nebula on the EBL. A differential measurement in the direction of a high-latitude dark nebula and its surrounding area provides a signal that is due to two components only, i.e. the EBL and the diffusely scattered ISL from the cloud. We present a progress report of this method where we are now utilising intermediate resolution spectroscopy with ESO's VLT telescope. We detect and remove the scattered ISL component by using its characteristic Fraunhofer line spectral signature. In contrast to the ISL, in the EBL spectrum all spectral lines are washed out. We present a high quality spectrum representing the difference between an opaque position within our target cloud and several clear OFF positions around the cloud. We derive a preliminary EBL value at 400 nm and an upper limit to the EBL at 520 nm. These values are in the same range as the EBL lower limits derived from galaxy counts.
Unit: We will use in this paper the abbreviation 1 cgs = 10−9erg s−1cm−2sr−1Å−1