When Was Dark Matter Formed?

Was dark matter created during the Big Bang?
This full-sky map from the Planck mission shows matter between Earth and the edge of the observable universe. Regions with more mass show up as lighter areas while regions with less mass are darker. The grayed-out areas are where light from our own galaxy was too bright, blocking Planck's ability to map the more distant matter. Image credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech

This full-sky map from the Planck mission shows matter between Earth and the edge of the observable universe. Regions with more mass show up as lighter areas while regions with less mass are darker. The grayed-out areas are where light from our own galaxy was too bright, blocking Planck's ability to map the more distant matter. Image credit: ESA/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Our current understanding of the event dubbed the Big Bang implies that all matter, and all energy, appeared in our Universe at that moment. Ever since then, the Universe has been changing...

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Is Dark Energy Pushing Our Galaxy Somewhere?

If dark energy is pushing our Galaxy in a known and straight line, then where is it pushing us to? What kind of force is driving the dark energy and where is it taking us to? Or is there a force that is drawing dark energy to it, and we are just trapped within it?

Image credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center Conceptual Image Lab

Dark energy isn't pushing our Galaxy in a specific direction; it's responsible for the expansion of the space between all objects in space which are not tied to each other by gravity.

So, for instance, dark energy doesn't influence...

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Does A Black Hole Die If It Has No Fuel?

If black holes are in the centers of galaxies, can the black hole die if it does not suck anything?
This diagram shows how a shifting feature, called a corona, can create a flare of X-rays around a black hole. The corona (feature represented in purplish colors) gathers inward (left), becoming brighter, before shooting away from the black hole (middle and right). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This diagram shows how a shifting feature, called a corona, can create a flare of X-rays around a black hole. The corona (feature represented in purplish colors) gathers inward (left), becoming brighter, before shooting away from the black hole (middle and right). Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Black holes are indeed at the centers of every large galaxy like our own Milky Way, and our Milky Way's black hole is a good example of 'normal' black hole behavior, at least for galaxies living near us...

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Does Light Lose Energy As It Travels The Universe?

As a wave of light travels through the universe, does it lose energy? For example, what is the wavelength of 450 nm (blue) light after traveling a trillion (1,000,000,000,000) km in the universe? Thank you very much.
The anisotropies of the Cosmic microwave background (CMB) as observed by Planck. The CMB is a snapshot of the oldest light in our Universe, imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380,000 years old. Image credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration, CC BY SA IGO

The anisotropies of the Cosmic microwave background (CMB) as observed by Planck. The CMB is a snapshot of the oldest light in our Universe, imprinted on the sky when the Universe was just 380,000 years old. Image credit: ESA/Planck Collaboration, CC BY SA IGO

It does! This loss of energy is usually officially termed a cosmological redshift, and it’s an interesting combination of the way that light moves through space, and the nature of our Universe’s expansion. Light behaves both...

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Can Planets Bend Light?

Because large objects in space have an effect on light, can smaller objects do the same thing? Can something the size of the Earth also influence light and make it bend?
This artist's concept shows OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, a planet discovered through a technique called microlensing. Image credit: 

This artist's concept shows OGLE-2016-BLG-1195Lb, a planet discovered through a technique called microlensing. Image credit: 

Every object in the universe with mass has the potential to bend light a little; the harder part is being able to measure that change.

This behavior of light, taking apparently curved paths around very massive...

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