A new measurement of dark matter in the Milky Way has revealed there is half as much of the mysterious substance as previously thought.
Australian astronomers used a method developed almost 100 years ago to discover that the weight of dark matter in our own galaxy is 800 000 000 000 (or 8 x 1011) times the mass of the Sun.
They probed the edge of the Milky Way, looking closely, for the first time, at the fringes of the galaxy about 5 million billion kilometres from Earth.
Astrophysicist Dr Prajwal Kafle, from The University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, said we have known for a while that most of the Universe is hidden.
"Stars, dust, you and me, all the things that we see, only make up about 4 per cent of the entire Universe," he said.
"About 25 per cent is dark matter and the rest is dark energy."