Something like 68% of the universe is made up of dark energy, a mysterious force thought to fuel the expansion of the universe.
Another 27% is dark matter, which – as CERN explains – “Does not absorb, reflect or emit light,” even though it seems to pull at the things in the universe we can actually see.
“We’ve made the largest map for studying the 95% of the universe that is dark,” David Schlegel, an astrophysicist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, said in a press release.
“In this map, we can see galaxies being gravitationally pulled towards other galaxies by dark matter. And on much larger scales, we see the effect of dark energy ripping the universe apart.”
The map itself was made by measuring the effects of pressure waves that traveled across the universe when it was just 400,000 years old, more than 13 billion years ago.
In the image below, you can see how a slice of 10% of the map could be expanded to show the three-dimensional structure of the universe, with voids of nothingness and bright superclusters of galaxies.
In the future, these results will allow researchers to even further show the effects of dark energy and could reveal what Natalie Roe, Physics Division director at Berkeley Lab, describes as “Ultimately the future of our universe.”