The Missing Universe

The mystery of dark matter may at last have been solved

The universe is a lot of things, but easy to understand isn't one of them. Take the fact that more than 80% of its mass is missing. Galaxies spin so fast, they would fly apart if the gravity of some unseen mass weren't keeping them intact, surrounding them like a glass paperweight encasing a butterfly. Cosmologists have been trying to identify this so-called dark matter since the 1930s, and now they may have succeeded thanks to new data from a spectrometer aboard the International Space Station.

Dark-matter particles are hard to spot since they can pass through ordinary matter as if...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!