Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Galactic Bridges might be the largest rotating objects

The universe is full of rotating objects: galaxies, stars in galaxies, the earth, the earth revolves around the sun, and the moon revolves around the earth. They all revolve around an axis. An international team of astronomers added to this list by discovering evidence that cosmic filaments—the tendrils of matter that span hundreds of millions of light-years—also rotate. Such a massive rotation has never been seen before, and this new discovery can help explain why galaxies (and all other structures in space) rotate so easily.

Little is known about the origin of rotation on the cosmic scale. In the standard model of the formation of the structure of the universe, areas of relatively high material density in the early universe grew over time as material flows from more dispersed areas into these denser areas. However, this has nothing to do with rotation (it has no curve), which means that the early universe did not have primitive rotation. Therefore, every rotation we see today must be produced in the form of a shaped structure.

One way to understand this is to find where the rotation stops. A team led by Noam Libeskind of the Leibniz Institute of Astrophysics Postdam (AIP), Germany wants to do this by studying whether the filaments of galaxies (hundreds of millions of light-years long and millions of light-years in diameter) can be like giant bridges connecting galaxy clusters, said the research team member Wang Peng.

The main author’s research was published in “Natural Astronomy”. The filaments also guide galaxies to the large galaxy clusters at their ends. Among them, is another important discovery. Libeskind added that the filaments seem to spin faster at the ends of larger mass galaxies. Although the full reason for this is not yet clear, he believes that the relationship between the rotation of each end filament and the cluster may indicate a gravitational effect.

“In the future, we want to test whether the galaxy within the filament rotates with the same chirality (“agility”) as the filament itself. This will indicate the combination of scales that generate the spin, which means it is still unknown and can indicate the origin of the spin of the universe”, said Libeskind.

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