Environment

What Is The Universe Made Of?

The most commonly found element in our universe is hydrogen, followed by helium. These two elements together make up the majority of ordinary matter in the universe.

Our universe is made up of an uncountable number of planets, comets, asteroids, and full of billions of galaxies and stars. All of those things are placed in a constant whirlpool throughout the expanse of space. However, it is hard not to wonder what the components that make up these celestial objects are.

The most commonly found element in our universe is hydrogen, followed closely by helium. These two elements together make up the majority of ordinary matter in the universe. However, although this may seem like an important claim, ordinary matter makes up only 5% of our universe, and the rest of the ingredients cannot be seen or detected directly.

Ordinary Matter

During the Big Bang, the event that started it all, every object and known element in the universe were created. This includes humongous things like stars and black holes, and also specks of space dust. The Big Bang occurred almost 14 billion years ago when extremely hot matter rapidly started to expand in all directions. In an instant, protons, electrons, neutrons, and other subatomic particles were created, and soon afterward, their temperature dropped drastically, while still remaining incredibly hot by regular human standards. 

After 380,000 years, the universe was finally cooled to a degree where these particles could form lithium, helium, and hydrogen. Protons were in abundance, and hydrogen became the dominant element since it only consists of one proton and one neutron. Almost 95% of the atoms in the universe are hydrogen, and the other 5% is mostly helium. Approximately 200 million years after the Big Bang, the rest of the elements were created by the first stars, and that is what makes the rest of the ordinary matter in our universe.

During the Big Bang, the event that started it all, every object and known element in the universe were created.
During the Big Bang, the event that started it all, every object and known element in the universe were created.

Dark Matter

The ordinary matter was not the only thing created during the Big Bang. There was also dark matter; however, it is impossible to know the form it took since those particles cannot be detected. The existence of dark matter has been the topic of scientific research since the 1930s, and while we cannot be entirely sure what it is made of, we do know it exists due to fluctuations in the radiation that was leftover since the Big Bang. 

Many astrophysicists have researched dark matter throughout the past century and concluded that it makes up a large portion of our universe. The main reason for believing so are large numbers of gravitational effects in the universe that could not happen without certain amounts of unseen matter. And that is precisely what dark matter is, something we cannot see or explain what it is made of, but it holds our entire universe together. However, another important thing prevents our universe from falling apart, and that is dark energy. 

According to recent findings, dark energy is even more abundant than dark matter. In the late 1990s, a group of scientists discovered that the universe was continually expanding and that there was no chance of it collapsing. They blamed an unknown force for this, and they dubbed it dark energy.

This energy accelerates the momentum of the universe and pushes against it in the void of space. According to the first proposed models, dark energy makes up around 75% of the universe, and dark matter accounts for 20%. This means that ordinary matter, things we can see, make up only 5% of the universe.

What is the most commonly found element in the universe?

The most commonly found element in our universe is hydrogen, followed closely by helium.

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