New observations reveal how giant structures in space connect the universe and form galaxies

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The abstract breaks down mind-boggling scientific research, future technologies, new discoveries, and major breakthroughs.

Our universe is connected by a cosmic web, a vast network of filaments spanning billions of light years and made up of gas and dark matter, a mysterious substance that has so far eluded explanation.

Now, scientists have discovered galaxies aligned in never-before-seen patterns along these filaments, a discovery that sheds light on the evolution of galaxies within the universe’s large-scale structure, according to a new study. The research adds to a growing body of evidence revealing the influence of the cosmic web on the evolution of galaxies across space and time.

Researchers led by Stefania Barsanti, an astronomer from the Australian National University, studied hundreds of galaxies captured by the SAMI Galaxy Survey at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. The team discovered that the mass of a galaxy’s central bulge is related to its orientation within the cosmic web, revealing a “galactic formation memory” that includes the “halo” structures from which galaxies originate, according to A recent study was published In the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

“How galaxies gain their angular momentum in the cosmic web is a critical component of understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies,” Parsanti and her co-authors said. “Because galaxies are not randomly distributed in the universe but are found along ordered filaments and walls, it is expected that their properties will be influenced by their host’s halos, and by the current location and past history of these halos in the evolving cosmic web.”

Previous studies have shown that the location of the galaxy in the cosmic web have effects For their chemical content and those galaxies Can be used for tracking Spinning cosmic threads, among many mind-boggling discoveries.

Meanwhile, Parsanti and her colleagues were fascinated by a possible link between the galaxy’s bulge mass and its alignment with filaments. Simulations indicate that galaxies with more massive bulges tend to rotate on axes perpendicular to the filaments embedded in them, while galaxies with smaller bulges rotate parallel to the web, but no one noticed the direction there in actual outer space.

“An exciting question that arises is whether we can detect an association between bulge properties and spindle alignment directions in the observations,” the study researchers said.

“We make use of the SAMI Galaxy Survey to determine the spin axes of galaxies, bulges, and disks… [Galaxy And Mass Assembly] GAMA spectroscopy to reconstruct the cosmic web,” they continued. “These analyzes will help shed light on the mechanisms of formation of galaxies, bulges, and disks.”

The observations line up with simulations by showing that large bulges galaxies tend to rotate on an axis perpendicular to the cosmic filaments, while galaxies with less massive bulges rotate parallel to the lattice. This pattern can be attributed to the distinct ways in which galaxies can form. Low-mass galaxies are united mainly by gas flowing from the filaments, so they take on the same alignment as the larger cosmic structure. Conversely, high-mass galaxies are most likely the product of collisions between galaxies that flipped in a vertical direction during the process of merging together.

“We found an observational link between galactic spin filament alignment and bulge growth,” the team said in the study. “This association can be explained by mergers, which can cause flip-flop and bulge clustering, as seen in simulations of galaxy formation.”

The study provides another tantalizing glimpse into the relationship between the cosmic web and its intertwined galaxies. These types of details can be very difficult to detect through observation, but Integrated Field Spectroscopy (IFS) projects, such as the SAMI Galaxy Survey, are increasingly bringing them to light. To that end, Parsanti’s team is looking to the next generation of IFS efforts, such as the Hector Galaxy Survey, which will be able to observe tens of thousands of galaxies.

“Additional clues about the processes involved in changing spin alignment relative to the nearest cosmic filaments can be discovered by studying the alignment of discrete spin filaments of galaxy components, such as bulges and disks,” Parsanti and colleagues said.

“Currently we can only elicit suggestive hints in the context of galaxy formation scenarios, although they provide a consistent picture according to simulations, given the relatively small number of galaxies involved in the analyzes and the weak statistical significance of the results,” they concluded. “Upcoming IFS galaxy surveys, such as the Hector survey, will be able to draw stronger conclusions from the alignment of spindles regarding the physical mechanisms that lead to the formation of galaxies, bulges, and disks, as well as constraining the roles of local and global environments in determining galactic spins.”

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