Comparing two centuries of Earth’s surface temperature

All the contents of the universe in one drawing

Scientists agree that the universe is made up of three distinct parts: Every day Visible matter (or measurable), and two theoretical components called dark matter and dark energy.

These last two are considered theoretical because they haven’t been directly measured yet – but even without a full understanding of these enigmatic pieces of the puzzle, scientists can conclude that the composition of the universe can be broken down as follows:

component Values
dark energy 68%
dark matter 27%
hydrogen and helium 4%
stars 0.5%
neutrinos 0.3%
heavy items 0.03%

Let’s look at each component in more detail.

dark energy

Dark energy is the theoretical matter that counteracts gravity and causes the universe to expand rapidly. It is the bulk of the formation of the universe, permeating every corner of the universe and dictating how it behaves and how it will be. In the end.

dark matter

On the other hand, dark matter has a restrictive force that works in tandem with gravity. It is a kind of “cosmic cement” responsible for holding the universe together. Despite avoiding direct measurement and remaining a mystery, scientists believe it constitutes the second largest component of the universe.

hydrogen and helium

Hydrogen and free helium are two elements that move freely in space. Despite being the lightest and most abundant element in the universe, it makes up approximately 4% of its total composition.

Stars, neutrinos, and heavy elements

All other hydrogen and helium particles that do not float freely in space are found in stars.

Stars are one of the most populous things we can see when we look at the night sky, but they make up less than 1% – about 0.5% – of the universe.

Neutrinos are subatomic particles that are similar to electrons, but are almost weightless and do not carry any electrical charge. Although they erupt from every nuclear reaction, they make up roughly 0.3% of the universe.

Heavy elements are all other elements except hydrogen and helium.

Elements form in a process called nuclear synthesis, which takes places inside stars throughout their lives and during their explosive death. Almost everything we see in our physical universe is made up of these heavy elements, yet they make up the smallest part of the universe: 0.03%.

How do we measure the universe?

In 2009, the European Space Agency (ESA) launched a space observatory called Planck to study the properties of the universe as a whole.

Its main task was to measure the afterglow of explosives the great explosion The universe originated 13.8 billion years ago. This aurora is a special type of radiation called the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMBR).

temperature It can tell scientists a lot about what’s out there. Examining the “microwave sky,” researchers look for fluctuations (called anisotropy) in the CMBR’s temperature. Tools like Planck help reveal just how irregular the CMBR is, and tell us about the different components that make up the universe.

Below you can see how CMBR visibility changes over time with multiple and more complex space missions Hardware.

What else is there?

Scientists are still working to understand the properties that make up dark energy and dark matter.

NASA is currently planning to launch in 2027 the Roman space telescope, Nancy Grace, an infrared telescope that we hope will help us measure the effects of dark energy and dark matter for the first time.

As for what is beyond the universe? Scientists are not sure.

There are hypotheses that there may be a larger “super universe” that contains us, or we may be part of a single “island” universe separate from the other island multiverses. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to measure anything yet. Uncovering the secrets of the profound universe remains, at least for now, a domestic endeavor.