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How To Explain Dark Matter To A 5-Year-Old

Updated 23 Jan 2019 4.0k views15 items

Astronomers and scientists have always pondered the big questions. Are we alone in this universe? How is everything connected? What exactly makes up this universe that we don't understand yet? Recently, more and more have been asking this question: what is dark matter, and why are scientists looking for it? What is this whole idea of "dark flow" in our massive universe?

Imagine for a second that you're an Intergalactic School kid from the galaxy of Andromeda who just climbed aboard a Dark Flow Taxi with your best friend, on your way back to class at the Universal University of The Milky Way Galaxy. When you and your friend arrive, you discover the fare is more expensive than the previous trip, which was more costly than the one before it. At this point, you would certainly suspect that something was afoot, and rightly so. Your trip was actually taking longer each time because you were, in fact, traveling a greater distance. How could this be possible, since your points of departure and arrival have remained the same? The answer lies within the hidden world of dark matter in the universe. 
Understanding dark matter and having dark energy explained can be a bit tricky since the world's foremost scientists aren't exactly sure what they are, and can only validate their existence by the influence they exert upon the Universe.

So how does dark matter work? What is dark energy? And why will your trip home to Andromeda take even longer than last time? Here is a list of reasons explaining what scientists know (so far) about dark energy and dark matter, and how they think it influences our universe and what it means for the future of humanity. 

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