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If scientists can't see dark matter, how do they know it exists?

Q.If scientists can't see dark matter, how do they know it exists?

Ans. Scientists calculate the mass of large objects in space by studying their motion. Astronomers examining spiral galaxies in the 1950s expected to see material in the center moving faster than on the outer edges. Instead, they found the stars in both locations traveled at the same velocity, indicating the galaxies contained more mass than could be seen. Studies of the gas within elliptical galaxies also indicated a need for more mass than found in visible objects. Clusters of galaxies would fly apart if the only mass they contained were visible to conventional astronomical measurements.

Albert Einstein showed that massive objects in the universe bend and distort light, allowing them to be used as lenses. By studying how light is distorted by galaxy clusters, astronomers have been able to create a map of dark matter in the universe.

Although dark matter makes up most of the matter of the universe, it only makes up about a quarter of the composition. The universe is dominated by dark energy.

After the Big Bang, the universe began expanding outward. Scientists once thought that it would eventually run out of the energy, slowing down as gravity pulled the objects inside it together. But studies of distant supernovae revealed that the universe today is expanding faster than it was in the past, not slower, indicating that the expansion is accelerating. This would only be possible if the universe contained enough energy to overcome gravity — dark energy.

All of these methods provide a strong indication that the most of the matter in the universe is something yet unseen.


  1. Probably a stupid question, but could the universe be expanding faster because gravity is getting weaker? As I understand it the mechanism of gravity is not really understood and as such the above could be true? Even if unlikely surely an option as both dark energy and gravity are kind of constructed ideas... Just a thought let me know... Many thanks


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