General, Research, Technology

Evidence of 'collective behavior' of galaxies found

An observable universe with billions inhabiting itgalaxies and clusters located at monstrous distances from each other resembles a nervous tissue in which cells are connected into a system by neurons emanating from them, through which nerve impulses are transmitted. Scientists call this space system of a higher level the Metagalaxy. It contains numerous clusters of galaxies, the light from which our telescopes capture. Interestingly, observing these amazing inhabitants of the Universe, astronomers and astrophysicists were somewhat puzzled by their synchronized behavior, which cannot be explained by individual gravitational fields. So, in the work of 2018, it was reported about hundreds of galaxies rotating synchronously with other galaxies, which are located tens of millions of light years away. It turns out, despite the differences and mind-boggling distances, some galaxies move together according to strange and often inexplicable patterns, as if connected by a huge invisible force. These discoveries hint at the mysterious influence of the so-called "large-scale structures", which, as the name suggests, are the largest known objects in the universe.

Milky Way, the galaxy we live inis one of hundreds of billions of galaxies scattered throughout the universe. Their diversity is staggering: spiral, ring-shaped galaxies in the form of star-studded loops, and ancient galaxies that outshine almost everything else in the universe.

Large-scale structures of the Universe

To date, scientists have discovered a largethe amount of evidence that the universe is bound by giant structures. It turned out that galaxies can move with each other over huge distances - contrary to the predictions of the main cosmological models. For example, galaxies within a few million light years of each other can gravitationally influence each other in predictable ways, but scientists have observed mysterious patterns between distant galaxies that go beyond these local interactions and challenge fundamental ideas about the universe.

Recent discoveries in this area, for exampleA 2018 paper published in The Astrophysical Journal hints that so-called "large-scale structures" - composed of hydrogen gas and dark matter and shaped like filaments, sheets and knots that link galaxies into a vast network - form a cosmic web. which is of great importance for the evolution and movement of galaxies.

See also: What is the cosmic web?

Billions of galaxies seem to have a semblance of "collective behavior."

During the study, 445 galaxies were studied ina radius of 400 million light years from Earth. Astronomers have noticed that many galaxies that rotate towards the Earth have neighbors - and they also move towards the Earth. At the same time, galaxies that rotate in the opposite direction have neighbors moving away from the Earth.

“The observed coherence must have someconnection with large-scale structures, because it is impossible for galaxies separated by 20 million light years to interact directly with each other, "- write the authors of the scientific work.

The study authors suggest thatsynchronized galaxies can be embedded in the same large-scale structure that rotates counterclockwise very slowly. These underlying dynamics may cause some consistency between the rotation of the studied galaxies and the movements of their neighbors, although much more research is needed to confirm the conclusions of the work.

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Is the cosmological model at stake?

In 2018, another work was published by astronomers from the University of Strasbourg, according to which something is wrong with standard cosmological models... This work deals with extended observationsCentaurus A is a polar ring lenticular galaxy in the constellation Centaurus - captured by the dedicated instrument MUSE on the Very Large Telescope in Chile.

Observations have shown that in Centaurus A there iscoherent motion and jointly rotating satellite plane. This means that there is a discrepancy that the authors of the paper, published in the journal Science, consider "one of the most serious small-scale challenges" to the standard cosmological model. This strange coherence, also called satellite plane problem, can be observed both in our own galaxy and in the Andromeda galaxy.

It is believed that the orbits of satellite galaxies are guided by filaments of the cosmic web, which may help explain some of the mysterious phenomena observed in nearby galactic systems.

The standard cosmological model predictsthat galaxies form hierarchically, that is, they gradually grow, pulling smaller galaxies and tearing some of them apart. This happens when gravity sucks them in, no matter which direction they are grabbed from. Therefore, one would expect these galaxies to move in all sorts of random positions and directions, corresponding to how they were moving before they were caught in orbit.

It should be noted that the standardthe cosmological model is extremely well validated, so any evidence that challenges it is inevitably controversial in scientific circles. But despite different points of view and possible explanations for the observed coherence, scientists continue to work to find out if galaxies really show signs of "collective behavior" and why. So let's wait!