Telescope to Hunt for Missing 96% of the Universe

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An artist's impression of Euclid.
(image by C. Carreau / ESA)
It doesn't get any more esoteric than the ongoing quest to uncover the secrets of dark matter and dark energy. Using measurements of the primordial light left over from the Big Bang, theorists can predict how those distances should change as the universe evolves, both with and without dark energy in its various possible forms. By comparing the theories with what Euclid actually sees, they'll be able to get a handle on which theory matches what's happening in the cosmos. Today, the consensus is that dark matter consists of vast clouds of some still-undiscovered subatomic particle that surround galaxies and galactic clusters. That growing mix of high-tech eyes looking steadily up and out is exactly what's needed for puzzles as big as dark mater and dark energy, says Bennett.

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