Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Weirdness in cosmic web of the universe: Faint strings of galaxies in 'empty' space arranged in way never before seen

Date:
March 10, 2014
Source:
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR)
Summary:
Australian astronomers have shown galaxies in the vast empty regions of the universe are actually aligned into delicate strings, according to new research. Using data from the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, the astronomers found that the small number of galaxies inside these voids are arranged in a new way never seen before.

A simulation of the 'Cosmic Web' showing clusters of galaxies and a void in the middle of the image, where Dr Alpaslan and team discovered tendrils of galaxies.
Credit: Cunnama, Power, Newton and Cui (ICRAR)

Australian astronomers have shown galaxies in the vast empty regions of the Universe are actually aligned into delicate strings, according to research published today in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

A team of astronomers based at The University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) has found short strings of faint galaxies in what were previously thought to be extremely empty parts of space.

The Universe is full of vast collections of galaxies that are arranged into an intricate web of clusters and nodes connected by long strings. This remarkably organized structure is often called the 'cosmic web', with busy intersections of galaxies surrounding vast spaces, empty of anything visible to us on Earth.

"The spaces in the cosmic web are thought to be staggeringly empty," said Dr Mehmet Alpaslan, who led the research. "They might contain just one or two galaxies, as opposed to the hundreds that are found in big clusters."

These huge, empty regions are called voids, and for years, astronomers have been trying to understand the small population of galaxies that inhabit them.

Using data from the Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA) survey, Alpaslan and his colleagues found that the small number of galaxies inside these voids are arranged in a new way never seen before.

"We found small strings composed of just a few galaxies penetrating into the voids, a completely new type of structure that we've called 'tendrils'," said Alpaslan.

To discover tendrils, the GAMA team created the largest ever galaxy census of the southern skies using observations from the Anglo-Australian Telescope in NSW, Australia.

"Our new catalogue has looked deeper into space and mapped each patch of sky up to ten times to make sure it's as thorough as possible," said Dr Aaron Robotham from The University of Western Australia node of ICRAR.

"We weren't sure what we'd find when we looked at voids in detail, but it was amazing to find so many of these tendrils lurking in regions that have previously been classified as empty," said Robotham.

"This means that voids might be much smaller than we previously thought, and that galaxies that were previously thought to be in a void might just be part of a tendril," said Alpaslan.

The GAMA team plan to catalogue more tendrils for further study as their detailed map of the Universe expands.  


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. M. Alpaslan, A. S. G. Robotham, D. Obreschkow, S. Penny, S. Driver, P. Norberg, S. Brough, M. Brown, M. Cluver, B. Holwerda, A. M. Hopkins, E. van Kampen, L. S. Kelvin, M. A. Lara-Lopez, J. Liske, J. Loveday, S. Mahajan, K. Pimbblet. Galaxy and Mass Assembly (GAMA): fine filaments of galaxies detected within voids. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, 2014; DOI: 10.1093/mnrasl/slu019

Cite This Page:

International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). "Weirdness in cosmic web of the universe: Faint strings of galaxies in 'empty' space arranged in way never before seen." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310090612.htm>.
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). (2014, March 10). Weirdness in cosmic web of the universe: Faint strings of galaxies in 'empty' space arranged in way never before seen. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310090612.htm
International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR). "Weirdness in cosmic web of the universe: Faint strings of galaxies in 'empty' space arranged in way never before seen." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140310090612.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Space & Time News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

Space to Ground: Coming and Going

NASA (July 25, 2014) — One station cargo ship leaves, another arrives, aquatic research and commercial spinoffs. Questions or comments? Use #spacetoground to talk to us. Video provided by NASA
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan

AP (July 23, 2014) — The Progress 56 cargo ship launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday. NASA says it will deliver cargo and crew supplies to the International Space Station. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks from Space Station

AP (July 22, 2014) — A Russian Soyuz cargo-carrying spacecraft undocked from the International Space Station on Monday. The craft is due to undergo about ten days of engineering tests before it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong

AP (July 21, 2014) — NASA honored one of its most famous astronauts Monday by renaming a historic building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It now bears the name of Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. (July 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:  

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile iPhone Android Web
          Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins