Washington: A new study has revealed that thread-like "filaments" in the cosmic web played a critical role in the formation of distant universe.
UC Riverside-led team highlighted the role of the "cosmic web" - a large-scale web-like structure comprised of galaxies - on the evolution of galaxies that took place in the distant universe, a few billion years after the Big Bang.
Behnam Darvish, a Ph.D. graduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UC Riverside, who led the research project and is the first author on the paper, said that they think the cosmic web, dominated by dark matter, formed very early in the history of the universe, starting with small initial fluctuations in the primordial universe.
The researchers said that such a 'skeletal' universe must have played, in principle, a role in galaxy formation and evolution, but this was incredibly hard to study and understand until recently.
They found that galaxies residing in the cosmic web/filaments have a much higher chance of actively forming stars. In other words, in the distant universe, galaxy evolution seems to have been accelerated in the filaments.
The scientists said that the filaments are like bridges connecting the denser regions in the cosmic web, but the role of intermediate environments and, in particular, the role of filaments and the cosmic web in the early universe remained, until very recently, a mystery.
The study was published in the Astrophysical Journal.