Why is it important? Lets Ask Louis Strigari of UC Irvine:
“If it wasn’t for this dark matter, then we wouldn’t have galaxies to begin with, we wouldn’t have stars because this dark matter sort of forms the basis and the seeds around which the galaxies form. So without this dark matter, there would be no galaxies, there would be no sun, and ultimately there would be no life as we know it. So it is important to determine what the properties of this form of matter is because it’s the dominate form of matter that we know in the universe.”
How do we know it exists?
We do not know it exists but we strongly believe it does because it is believed that dark matter generates gravity and if dark matter didn’t exist the universe would collapse.
First Dark Matter Galaxy Discovery
On February 23rd, 2005, British astronomers discovered an invisible dark galaxy. The mass rotates like a galaxy but has no light, which means that there were no stars. It was found with a radio telescope at the University of Manchester.
There is more dark matter in the universe than bright objects.
Dark matter is of two kinds – the matter in galaxies (galactic), and the matter between them (intergalactic).
Galactic dark matter can be the same as ordinary matter but has burnt out early in the universe’s life.
Intergalactic dark matter is made up of WIMPs (Weakly Interacting Massive Particles).
Some WIMPs are called cold dark matter because they are travelling slowly away from the Big Bang.
Some WIMPs are called hot dark matter because they are travelling very fast away from the Big Bang.
The future of the Universe depends on dark matter. If there is too much dark matter the universe may shrink.
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