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back to article The plane story of galactic clusters

Why are galaxies where they are? Astronomers have turned up a hint at the way dark matter affects the large-scale structure of the universe, with observations discovering that the Milky Way and nearby galactic clusters are arranged along a plane. The researchers, from the Australian National University, believe the arrangement …

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Mushroom

vidz

10 billion particle simulation videos, here -

http://www.mpa-garching.mpg.de/galform/virgo/millennium/

Although these are a lot older (2005) than this paper, they are nevertheless interesting. Enjoy.

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Happy

Oh sure 2 billion lightyears is big...

..but the BigBolshoi (2011) is 4 billion lightyears. Albeit only 8.6 billion particles.

http://goo.gl/Sovg0

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Alien

All those filaments connecting galaxies...

It looks eerily like a transportation grid. Hyperspace corridors anyone? Wormhole networks?

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Alien

Communication network

It's the Space Internet!

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Thumb Up

I wanna go home ...

JP ... Actually looks more like a brain structure .... or a sponge. Cool stuff... and another

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17jymDn0W6U

We live in amazing times ... Galileo, Copernicus, even Einstein would love what we are finding out about the universe. It is truly awesome sh*t !

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yes

looks like stained brain cells viewed through a microscope

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Devil

Dark matter my arse. (pun intended)

Scientist: 'The Earth is flat and we'll kill anyone who disagree's with us. The speed of light is a constant that cannot be exceeded, black holes are... (physicist breaks down crying), bumble bee's cannot fly, dark matter and dark energy is this 'stuff' that we can't prove exists but it makes our maths look good...

'The realm of quantum and macro physics still can't be shown as working together and you know what, we still haven't proved conclusively that man was descended from monkey (missing link), but rather like the flat Earth debacle we'll still teach it to our progeny as 'fact'.

Not one single politician on this planet wants peace.

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Happy

It sounds like.....

... your dark matter is backing up inside you.

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Anonymous Coward

@Tony Paulazzo

When you were busy typing that trolling post, had it occurred to you just how accurate and how many of the ideas put forward by science needed to be correct for your post to even make it's way onto the server?

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Re: Tony Paulazzo

It is good to see that there are still people who prefer to get their science "education" from Stephen Fry rather than, say, books. Keep up the good work!

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pratchett time

It's all quantum, innit?

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Facepalm

Hey Tony!

As far as trolls go, that's pretty darn lame.

In both the quantum and macro worlds.

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Coffee/keyboard

No, it could'nt be

@tony. Tom Bishop I presume! I'll visit that fantastic web site of yours before bed time again, cause' I enjoy a good giggle before I go to sleep! ....Bendy Light, Brilliant!!

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FAIL

I think you'll be waiting a very long time to see man descended from monkeys...

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Boffin

re: dark matter

I just love it when people come by and start saying: look scientists got it wrong in the past, current science must also be wrong. This shows they do not quite get the scientific process.

"Getting things wrong" is part and parcel of science. All current theories do is model the world in such a way that a large set of observations are explained. Testing theories consists of making predictions, doing experiments and seeing where the theory gets it wrong. If it gets things wrong, we have to make a new theory which explains all the old observations AND the new. Alternatively, there may be a mistake in the new observations, and the theory survives to be tested again. Each new theory offers a better approximation of the behaviour of nature, which should be harder to prove wrong than the previous. However, even if it mimics the behaviour of nature exactly, we have no guarantee it is the real mechanism behind nature, it is just a perfectly good model.

It is natural for scientists to be cautious when a theory confirmed by thousands of experiments is contradicted by a single experiment. At the same time many physicists are unhappy with the notions of dark matter and dark energy, and are looking for alternatives. Where there is disagreement there is progress in science.

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Joke

Why are galaxies where they are?

Slartibartfarst's supervisor?

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Happy

I thought they just made planets

but they might be branching out into whole galaxies.

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Holmes

These Filaments are Birkeland Currents

You do not need 'dark matter/energy' to explain these filaments. They are electric currents. If electrons move through space (e.g. in a 'solar wind') then this is an electric current. Currents move due to voltage (potential) differences, like electrons "boiling off" a cathode and racing to a phosphor screen in an old Cathode Ray Tube.

Movement of the electrons generate an electric field, which feeds back onto the stream of electrons themselves causing them to spiral and entwine about one another - a bit like a copper twisted pair. See http://www.plasma-universe.com/Birkeland_current .

Space is full of 'solar winds' (electrons, ions, called 'plasma') from the zillions of stars which interacts with electromagnetic fields and elements at low pressure which can cause light to be radiated like a neon light.

Filamentary, my dear Watson.

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Boffin

space, it's big!

I thought the space between the galaxies would be too big to have electrons or much of anything flowing in enough density to create any fields of appreciable strength

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Electromagnetic Fields are Much Stronger than Gravity

I'm no expert, but if you think about a solar-systems' width of electrons flowing between a set of stars in a galaxy (or between galaxies) due to a potential difference, that is a lot of electrons. The field generated by them will be weak, but much stronger than gravity. The nature of Birkeland currents is that the field generated by the electron movement will tend to force the electrons together so that they start to entwine around one - the maths gets a bit hairy, but see here: http://www.aldebaran.cz/astrofyzika/plazma/pinch_en.html. If this electron stream (current) encounters an element in space, it can cause excitation and a glow like a flame test or neon light.

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Anonymous Coward

Circular logic

Dark matter and dark energy are required because galaxies are not where one might expect them to be. But you can't then suggest that the location of galaxies is evidence of dark matter/energy, because they were made up deliberately to support their unexpected position.

Eastander is correct, you don't need invisible matter and invisible energy (The Emperor's New Clothes?), when plasmas naturally form filamentary structure, as is evidence from plasma balls, lightning, sprites/elves, Birkeland currents, nebulae, and astrophysical jets.

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Anonymous Coward

Dimenstionality

Doesn't this observation also tie in with the theory that spacial dimensions have developed/ are developing over time. So the universe was initially 1 dimensional, then as it expanded it became 2-d (hence planar distribution of galactic clusters, now 3d (and possibly on a large scale already 4d).

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Dimensions

The Big Bang is supposed to have begun as a 1-dimensional singularity. This does not imply a point, only that it is undefined, with no-where for anything to go. As soon as the Big Bang begun, we have three dimensions, with some particles free to move unconstrained. I'm not aware of any evidence for a fourth Cartesian dimension.

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Anonymous Coward

One theory on increasing spatial dimensions of universe:

http://www.physorg.com/news/2011-04-primordial-weirdness-early-universe-dimension.html

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Anonymous Coward

Galaxies on a plane

Na, that won't work. Galaxies are a lot bigger than planes.

Snakes, now there's something you could put on a plane!

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