Last updated on October 20th, 2017 at 10:33 pm

We live in a Universe which has so many unknown concepts waiting to be discovered. Space exploration has become important since we get to learn so much about planets and everything that exists in the space. How did the Universe come into existence? What holds the galaxies together? How did the Universe expand from a tiny spot to an expanded one? How has the speed of expansion accelerated? All this can be known by studying about space. Did you know that Dark Matter and Dark Energy are two different concepts? Today, we are going to discuss the different between dark matter and dark energy. Two of these terms are related to space.

Dark Matter

Dark matter is basically matter that reflects or emits no light or minimal light. However, it does have a gravitational force. Scientists have shown evidence that the dark matter is present in the galaxy clusters, motion of the stars in galaxies, the orbits of the galaxies in the galaxy clusters. It is not an ordinary matter. It holds the galaxies together through its gravity. It does not absorb light nor reflect light. It is cause behind the formation of galaxies and everything that is in it. When you see a galaxy and it has strange rings, it could be called dark matter.

There are two dark matter candidates – MACHO and WIMP. WIMP is the weakly interacting massive particle and MACHO is Massive Astro physical compact halo object. MACHO is hard to detect because they do not reflect light. WIMP is the important candidate for cold dark matter.

Dark Energy

Dark energy is the possible reason behind the expansion of the universe. It is believed that when the universe started after Big Bang, it expanded a lot. What accelerates the expansion? It is possible that the dark energy is behind the acceleration. The universe was tiny, hot and dense but once the Big Bang happened, it has been expanding at a fast rate. How is that? It is possible because the dark energy is behind it. Dark energy is the mysterious one and scientists have not been able to explain it in depth. The scientists say that the dark energy fill up the universe like a liquid and time and space is being stretched apart.

What is the difference between them?

Dark Matter Dark Energy
Produces gravity Produces repulsive force
Gravity holds the galaxies together Responsible for expansion of the Universe
Does not emit or reflect light

Here is a video which shows the difference between dark matter and dark energy.

When dark matter and dark energy is combined, they make up most of the Universe. In a nutshell, both the concepts are different but they are important for the formation of the universe, galaxy and everything else that exists. When they are together, the dark matter and dark energy make 96% of the Universe. Was this article helpful for you? Show us some love by liking it.