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New Space Telescope to Map Dark Matter

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Brain Cell and the Universe
(image by Brain Buster)

Matter as we know it - planets, galaxies, stars, the atoms that make up the human body, in short, everything that we know and see - accounts for only a fraction of total matter. The rest is made up of a mysterious force called dark matter, which was first described in 1932, but has never been directly seen or observed. Dark matter is spread throughout all of space. It is five times more abundant than standard matter. It engulfs our galaxy and others. It does not interact with light - hence its name. But scientists believe it does interact with ordinary matter through gravity, binding galaxies together like invisible glue. They know that it's there, because of the gravitational force it exerts on other objects. Even less is known about dark energy. The universe is expanding at an accelerating rate, and it's believed that dark energy is at the root of this cosmic expansion.

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