Sunday, October 10, 2021

Highest rotation ever seen in the Universe complicates the Big Bang theory

 Everything in the Universe turns.

 By mapping the movement of galaxies onto huge filaments that connect the cosmic web, astronomers at the Leibniz Institute for Astrophysics Potsdam (AIP) in Germany believe they have found evidence that these astronomical filaments rotate on the scale of hundreds of millions of light years.

 The observation is preliminary and has yet to be confirmed.  However, if real, this move is significant for several reasons.

 Although everything in the Universe appears to rotate, rotation on such large scales has never been seen before, showing that angular momentum can be generated at unprecedented scales.

 On the other hand, the finding underscores a shortcoming of the Big Bang model: How did rotation emerge in the nascent Universe, when all of the matter being created should be spreading out like a big inflating bubble?

 cosmic filaments

 Cosmic filaments are huge "bridges" of galaxies - and presumably dark matter - that connect galaxy clusters to each other.

 They funnel galaxies into large clusters that lie at their ends, making up the so-called "cosmic web".

 By mapping the motion of galaxies on these huge cosmic highways using the Sloan Digital Sky survey - a survey of hundreds of thousands of galaxies - we found a remarkable property of these filaments: they rotate.

 At these scales, the galaxies within [those filaments] are mere dust motes.  They move in screw-shaped helices or orbits, circling around the middle of the filament as they travel along it.  This rotation has never been seen before on such enormous scales, and the implication is that there must be an as-yet-unknown physical mechanism responsible for inducing torque on these objects.

 How did the Universe start to spin?

 How the angular momentum responsible for rotation is generated in a cosmological context is one of the major unresolved problems in cosmology.

 In the standard Big Bang model, small local increases in density in the early Universe could have grown through gravitational instability as matter flowed from regions of lower density to these emerging locations of higher density.  This flux is accepted as being the engine of the beginning of the agglomeration of matter, which would later lead to the formation of stars, planets and galaxies.

 However, this potential flux does not rotate and does not even have waves: There is no rotation in the early Universe according to the model accepted by scientists today.

 Thus, any rotation must have been generated as the cosmic structures formed.  But no one has had a good idea yet how this could have happened.

 So, as everything in the Universe rotates, what we are sure of is that reality is broader and more complex than the explanations contained in our current understanding of the cosmos.

 


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