What is dark matter and dark energy?

by TheWebGate
6 mins read

Introduction

Matter as we know it i.e. humans, dust, stones, and everything accounts for just 5% of the universe. That sounds odd, right? Yes, it accounts for 5% of the universe. What does the remaining 95% account for? The remaining 95% accounts for what we know as Dark Matter (26%) and Dark energy (70%) which are both not visible. No one understands what Dark matter and dark energy are but we only know they exist. 

distribution of dark matter and dark energy

Dark Matter Overview

Dark matter is an exotic matter, and this is because it contains weird properties. They are what make a thing as a galaxy exists. When we tried to find out why the universe is the way it is, we discovered that there was just not enough matter (the normal matter) and the normal matter’s gravity is not strong enough to form the galaxies and complex structures in the universe. If dark matter didn’t exist, the stars wouldn’t be packed to form galaxies. They will become loose and scattered all over space. We know there is something that holds them together. A thing that is around them and doesn’t emit light. 

Universe expansion, from Wikipedia

We cannot see dark matter but we can detect it. To detect dark matter, we notice that places where dark matter is present change the direction of light. The visible light bends because of the dark matter’s gravity. Currently, we know very little about what dark matter is. Dark matter is not dark matter and anti-matter. Some things we know about the dark matter are;

  • Dark matter is not anti-matter
  • it interacts well with gravity
  • there is a lot of it
  • it exists

Dark energy Overview

dark energy

Dark energy is a mysterious form of energy that affects the universe massively. Dark energy is more mysterious than we can think. It’s not visible and not measurable but we can see what it affects.

Dark energy is an empty space that’s not empty. Sounds confusing right? We found out that empty space is not empty because it contains energy and since dark matter contains a large proportion of energy, it’s a property of empty space.

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