FEB 18, 2020 4:20 PM PST

Will We Ever Solve the Universe's 'Dark Matter' Mystery?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

If you were to take a step back from the Milky Way and attempt to observe our universe, you’d see a plethora of bright and colorful sectors made up of seemingly uncountable stellar systems. Taking a step further away, you’d see other galaxies, similar in characteristics, but still very different from our own Milky Way.

The plot twist, however, is that the visible matter of these galaxies is only thought to comprise of about 5% of the universe’s total matter. The other 95% is purportedly comprised of an invisible type of matter that many scientists in the field like to call ‘dark matter.’

Dark matter has yet to be observed directly, but based on mathematical calculations that can be proven, galaxies like the Milky Way and its many neighbors aren’t spinning or moving at the expected rate of speed. Furthermore, the math supports the notion that galaxies should be getting pulled apart by the forces being imposed on them; yet this isn’t the case.

Assuming dark matter exists, it would act much like cosmic glue, holding all of the universe’s visible structural integrity intact. These particles, dubbed Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (or WIMPs), could allegedly pass through regular matter, including the Earth itself. There are dark matter sensors on Earth, but they have yet to detect anything. Lacking data has given rise to the theory that WIMPs are so weak that modern detectors simply can’t detect them.

Dark matter is often confused with dark energy, but these are each two very different concepts with different scientists studying each. With a little luck, perhaps the secret behind these two largely misunderstood forces will one day be revealed.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
FEB 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA's Christina Koch Returns From Space After Shattering Records
FEB 09, 2020
NASA's Christina Koch Returns From Space After Shattering Records
NASA astronaut Christina Koch set a new record at the end of 2019 when she spent more consecutive days in space than any ...
FEB 23, 2020
Space & Astronomy
InSight Will Attempt to Push Down on its Mole Instrument
FEB 23, 2020
InSight Will Attempt to Push Down on its Mole Instrument
NASA’s sent its Interior Exploration using Seismic Investigations, Geodesy and Heat Transport (InSight) mission to ...
MAR 16, 2020
Space & Astronomy
What Would it Take to Visit Alpha Centauri?
MAR 16, 2020
What Would it Take to Visit Alpha Centauri?
Humankind has long pondered upon the ambition of becoming a multiplanetary species. While much of our realistic focus re ...
MAR 22, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Critical Sample Handling Equipment is Installed on the Perseverance Rover
MAR 22, 2020
Critical Sample Handling Equipment is Installed on the Perseverance Rover
It was only a couple of weeks ago that NASA’s Mars 2020 rover got renamed to the Perseverance rover, and with a la ...
APR 19, 2020
Space & Astronomy
NASA Pegs Official Launch Date for First Crewed SpaceX Flight
APR 19, 2020
NASA Pegs Official Launch Date for First Crewed SpaceX Flight
Those who’ve been following the hype shared by both NASA and SpaceX during the past couple of years would know tha ...
JUN 01, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why SpaceX's Demo-2 Launch This Past Weekend Was So Significant
JUN 01, 2020
Why SpaceX's Demo-2 Launch This Past Weekend Was So Significant
If you somehow managed to miss the exciting news this past weekend, NASA and SpaceX set an important precedent in Americ ...
Loading Comments...