Faint strings of galaxies found inside empty spaces

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 16:23

Washington: Astronomers from The University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) have 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," Dr. Mehmet Alpaslan, who led the research, said.

"They might contain just one or two galaxies, as opposed to the hundreds that are found in big clusters," the researcher said.

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`," Alpaslan said.

First Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 - 16:23

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