These Aren’t The Voids You’re Looking For: Astronomers Find Faint Strings Of Galaxies Inside Empty Space
Australian astronomers have shown galaxies in the vast empty regions of the Universe are actually aligned into delicate strings in 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.