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 September 21, 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 September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

SpaceX Cargo Ship Blasts Off Toward Space Station

SpaceX Cargo Ship Blasts Off Toward Space Station

AFP (Sep. 21, 2014) — SpaceX's unmanned Dragon cargo ship blasts off toward the International Space Station, carrying a load of supplies and science experiments for the astronauts living there. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

Boeing, SpaceX to Send Astronauts to Space Station

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) — NASA selected Boeing and SpaceX on Tuesday to build America's next spacecraft to carry astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) by 2017, opening the way to a new chapter in human spaceflight. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

East Coast Treated To Rare Meteor Sighting

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) — Numerous residents along the East Coast reported seeing a bright meteor flash through the sky Sunday night. Video provided by Newsy
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