Sometimes nothingness can reveal a whole lot.
While the universe is mostly empty, it contains bubble-like voids that are even emptier, taking up most of the space in the cosmos. And new research shows that these voids all look similar regardless of size — a consistency that may help unravel some of the universe’s biggest mysteries.
If you zoom way out, all the matter in the universe looks like a huge cobweb, consisting of an expansive network of filaments and wall-like structures that crisscross one another.
More than 80 percent of this matter is dark matter, the invisible and mysterious stuff that appears to interact only gravitationally with the regular matter that makes up stars and galaxies. Residing in these filaments and walls of dark matter are galaxies, and the densest regions — where the filaments intersect — are sites of massive clusters of hundreds to thousands of galaxies.