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Sat May 6, 2017, 05:59 PM

Dark Matter Is the Real Guardian of the Galaxies (Video)

By Hanneke Weitering, Staff Writer-Producer | May 6, 2017 07:00am ET

Step aside, Star-Lord there's another superhero in the universe, and it's "guarding" far more galaxies than you can even fathom.

In honor of the release of "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2" in movie theaters today (May 5), scientists with the Hubble Space Telescope have released gorgeous new images of all the galaxies in our universe. The abundance of galaxies in Hubble's view illustrates that, in the grand scheme of things, the fictional Marvel galaxy is pretty insignificant.

Not only does the real universe have far more galaxies (an estimated 2 trillion of them) but it also has a much bigger, darker and mysterious guardian of those galaxies: Dark matter, according to Space Telescope Science Institute astronomer Dan Coe. Space.com spoke with Coe about all those galaxies in Hubble's latest images, and Coe explained how dark matter is really holding the universe together. [Gallery: Dark Matter Throughout the Universe]


"So dark matter is this mysterious stuff that makes up most of the stuff in the universe. It's all around us, but we don't know what it is yet," Coe said. "We can start to map it out and see it with gravitational lensing." (Gravitational lensing is the warping of light around objects in space that have a strong gravitational pull.)


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