Dark matter and dark energy: the mysterious ingredients in our universe

Science is an ongoing flirtation with the unknown.

Credit: NASA
  • The history of modern cosmology is one of the great triumphs of the human imagination.
  • Still, mysteries abound, particularly the nature of dark matter and dark energy.
  • Science moves forward by embracing the unknown as a challenge; taking the wrong turn is part of the way forward.
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Astronomers figure out why some galaxies are missing dark matter

A new study found the possible reason why some dwarf galaxies appear to not have dark matter.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI)
  • A new paper presents a possible reason for why some dwarf galaxies appear to be missing dark matter.
  • The researchers at the University of California, Riverside ran cosmological simulations to find the answers.
  • They discovered some galaxies were stripped of dark matter through extreme tidal loss.
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Dark energy: The apocalyptic wild card of the universe

Dr. Katie Mack explains what dark energy is and two ways it could one day destroy the universe.

  • The universe is expanding faster and faster. Whether this acceleration will end in a Big Rip or will reverse and contract into a Big Crunch is not yet understood, and neither is the invisible force causing that expansion: dark energy.
  • Physicist Dr. Katie Mack explains the difference between dark matter, dark energy, and phantom dark energy, and shares what scientists think the mysterious force is, its effect on space, and how, billions of years from now, it could cause peak cosmic destruction.
  • The Big Rip seems more probable than a Big Crunch at this point in time, but scientists still have much to learn before they can determine the ultimate fate of the universe. "If we figure out what [dark energy is] doing, if we figure out what it's made of, how it's going to change in the future, then we will have a much better idea for how the universe will end," says Mack.
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Dark energy located in intergalactic voids, predicts new study

Astronomers propose a new location for the mysterious force that accelerates the universe.

Credit: University of Hawaii
  • Astronomers predict that dark energy is located in the voids between galaxies.
  • Dark energy is thought responsible for the acceleration of our universe.
  • The intergalactic voids are known as GEODEs.
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New study says cosmic acceleration and dark energy don't exist

An Oxford scientist claims a Nobel-Prize-winning conclusion is wrong.

NASA
  • Paper by Oxford University physicist Subir Sarkar and his colleagues challenges how conclusions about cosmic acceleration and dark energy were reached.
  • Physicists who proved cosmic acceleration shared a Nobel Prize.
  • Sarkar used statistical analysis to question key data, but his methodology also has detractors.
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