How Much Matter is There in the Universe: New Research Emerges

how much matter is in the Universe

Everything that makes up the Universe is challenging to measure. Scientists know that most of the Universe’s matter-energy density comprises dark energy, the strange force that’s driving the Universe’s expansion. As for the rest, there is matter, both normal and dark. 

According to new research, however, scientists finally determined the proportion of matter. Their finding and results are truly astonishing. Here is what you need to know.

The Matter Situation

A team of scientists performed one of the most accurate measurements to determine how much matter is there in the Universe. The calculations reveal normal and dark matter mixed is 31.5 % of the matter-energy density of the Universe. 

Astronomer Mohamed Abdullah and his team used a technique based on the way things move around in galaxy clusters. Usually, these galaxies are the perfect tool for measuring the matter. And that’s because they contain matter that has come together about 13.8 billion years ago, under gravity. 

Research’s Insights and Results

The team discovered a way around that problem with a method dubbed GalWeight. It utilizes the orbits of galaxies in and around a cluster to find out which galaxies belong to any given cluster and which don’t, with an accuracy of 98 %. 

Astronomer Anatoly Klypin discussed the advantage of utilizing the GalWeight galaxy orbit method, saying: “[…] our team was able to determine a mass for each cluster individually rather than rely on more indirect, statistical methods.”

Furthermore, the team applied their procedure to observations gathered by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey and developed a collection of galaxy clusters. These clusters were finally compared to numerical simulations of galaxies to measure the total amount of the Universe’s matter. 

The result is 31,5 % matter, and 68,5 % dark energy. Such a conclusion demonstrates that GalWeight is a very useful tool for continuing to constrain and probe the cosmological features of the Universe.

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