There are many mysteries of the universe we have yet to understand. Since the early 20th century, scientists have known that the universe is expanding. In the 1990s, researchers discovered that, surprisingly, the expansion is accelerating. This was an astonishing discovery for the astrophysics community since the universe should be slowing down due to the gravitational attraction between galaxies, but it is doing the opposite. We use the name “dark energy” to refer to the mysterious influence that is responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe.
Additionally, many galaxies appear to lack sufficient mass to be held together by gravity and should have been torn apart long ago. So, what is causing these unknown phenomena? Dark matter, which makes up 85% of total matter in the universe, is a hypothetical type of matter that responsible for the way galaxies are organized.
The upcoming Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope, set to launch no later than May 2027, is an observatory designed to unravel the secrets of dark energy and dark matter, as well as search for and image exoplanets, and explore many other topics in astrophysics. Additionally, NASA Astrophysics contributes to ESA’s Euclid mission investigating mysteries of the dark universe.