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Albert Einstein's groundbreaking theory of general relativity may have been wrong after all, scientists have announced after publishing the world's most comprehensive map of dark matter in the universe.

An international collaboration of scientists has produced the biggest and most detailed look yet at the most elusive substance in the universe. Dark matter accounts for about 80 percent of everything in the cosmos but the mystery substance has so far evaded our gaze - hence the term "dark". But the Dark Energy Collaboration (DES) has charted out the distribution of dark matter throughout the universe, revealing how the substance is spread and where it concentrates.

Although we cannot see it or interact with it, scientists can see the gravitational effects dark matter has on light and galaxies and clouds of stellar gas.

Researchers now know dark matter is spread farther and smoother throughout the universe than previously thought.

The unexpected discovery raises questions about Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity - a cornerstone of 20th century physics and our best model of gravity to date.

Although the findings do not entirely discount Einstein's models just yet, they are not a perfect match.

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