Published: 16 December 2020
Author(s): Mai O'Sullivan, Kevin F McCarthy
Issue: January 2021
Section: Commentary

85% of the known universe is made up of something we cannot directly observe as it does not absorb, emit, or reflect light. We can only infer the existence of dark matter through its effects on gravitational waves and because, otherwise, galaxies would fly apart, and since this has not happened (yet), there must be something holding them together. With current technology, any proxy measures to infer its existence are at least two degrees of separation removed from the substance of actual interest: dark matter bends gravity, gravity bends light and it is in that bending of light that we try to pick up signal from the bewildering background noise of a vast and expanding universe.


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