The European Space Agency is currently developing a new visible to near-infrared space telescope dubbed Euclid, which is expected to tell us more about the universe – or more specifically – the strongly-debated existence of both dark matter and dark energy.
Dark energy is thought to make up close to 76% of the universe, while dark matter is thought to make up approximately 20%. The remaining 4% is known as baryonic matter, which is the visible matter we see and interact with on a daily basis.
Scientists have yet to actually prove the existence of dark energy or dark matter, but its presence is inferred by the universe’s behavior. More specifically, it’s rate of expansion is speeding up instead of slowing down, and this goes against what we’ve come to understand because gravity from the universe’s mass would be expected to slow that expansion down.
Euclid will ascertain this information by observing the red shift of literally thousands of millions of galaxies going back many, many years. In doing so, scientists can better analyze the expansion of the universe and hope to obtain a firmer grasp of what could be fueling this rapid expansion.