Matter that influences the evolution of the universe gravitationally
Dark matter is stuff that doesn’t give off or absorb light, but interacts with other things through gravity. Even though we can’t see dark matter, we know its there because it affects how other things we can see (like stars and galaxies, which give off light) move. Even more amazing: there’s much more dark matter in the universe than the “ordinary” matter you see all around you.
Dark matter is important for understanding how the Universe grew into the structure we see around us today— a big cosmic web of galaxies. The movie below shows what it would look like if you could see dark matter, and if you could watch a movie of the Universe from its birth until now. Each little orange knot is bigger than the entirety of our whole galaxy (which is billions of stars).
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