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 October 1, 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 October 1, 2014).

Share This



More Space & Time News

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Astronomers Spot Largest, Brightest Solar Flare Ever

Astronomers Spot Largest, Brightest Solar Flare Ever

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) — The initial blast from the record-setting explosion would have appeared more than 10,000 times more powerful than any flare ever recorded. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) — Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

The Water You Drink Might Be Older Than The Sun

Newsy (Sep. 27, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Michigan simulated the birth of planets and our sun to determine whether water in the solar system predates the sun. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

First Woman Cosmonaut in 17 Years Blasts Off for ISS

AFP (Sep. 26, 2014) — A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts, including the first woman cosmonaut in 17 years, blasted off on schedule Friday. Duration: 00:35 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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