We know that everything in the universe is connected by a vast filamentary network, but until now it assumed that the distribution of galaxies within these filaments was somewhat random. Now a new study shows that this is not the case; there’s an emerging pattern clearly visible and we can thank Spiral Galaxies for helping us spot it.
The hidden patterns were revealed at a meeting of the American Astronomical Society. Astronomer Lior Shamir of the University of Kansas (USA) presented data analysis on more than 200,000 spiral galaxies.
According to the new study, the geometric patterns of these galaxies show that the universe may have a defined structure and that the early universe may have been spinning.
This fact would confirm its anisotropy, that is, that its properties are different in different parts of the universe. In this way, the new data contradicts the popular idea that the universe is expanding without any specific direction and that galaxies are distributed without a particular cosmological structure.
According to Shamir’s study, the patterns in the distribution of these galaxies suggest that spiral galaxies in different parts of the universe, separated by space and time, are related through the directions in which they rotate.
If the universe, as widely believed, does not have a particular structure, the number of galaxies that rotate clockwise would be approximately equal to the number of galaxies that rotate counterclockwise, since its visual appearance depends on the perspective of the observer.
Shamir used data from various telescopes (including Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) and the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS)) to discover that these two numbers are not the same. The difference is small, but there is very little chance of having such asymmetry by chance, the scientist revealed. According to the new study, the split identified by the scientist was closer to 51-49, with more clockwise galaxies than counterclockwise in our universe.
Shamir discovered that the asymmetry between the directions of rotation of spiral galaxies increases when they are more distant from Earth, which shows that the early universe was more consistent and less chaotic than the current universe.
The patterns, spanning more than 4 billion light-years, not only show that the universe is not symmetric, but that the asymmetry changes in different parts of the universe, and that the differences exhibit a unique multi-pole pattern.
The differences in asymmetry in different parts of the universe are consistent with a quadrupole pattern, that is, the universe was not rotating around a single axis, but four axes in a complex alignment.
“If the universe has an axis, it is not a simple axis like a carousel. It is a complex multi-axis alignment that also has a certain drift,” Shamir explained.
The concept itself is not new, but this time, according to the astronomer, “there is no mistake or contamination that can be exhibited through unique, complex, and consistent patterns.”