What would happen if you could touch dark matter?

We take a look at what would happen if we were able to somehow touch the elusive 25 per cent of the universe

We're still not entirely sure of what dark matter is

We’re still not entirely sure of what dark matter is

Asked by David Baker

We’re not sure what would happen and we are not even sure if you could touch it at all! This mysterious material making up approximately 25 per cent of our universe does not emit electromagnetic radiation (including light), and has never been directly observed.

While we’re not entirely sure what dark matter is, we do know that there is not enough visible matter in our universe to produce the gravitational effects created by this elusive matter, which we can observe on a large scale. The only explanation is that there is some other material providing a gravitational effect within the cosmos.

The fact that we find it so hard to detect suggests that if you could touch dark matter, not a lot would happen. After all, it is already scattered throughout the universe and we don’t observe any interactions beyond gravitational effects.

Answered by Sophie Allan from the National Space Centre

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