Rotation in the universe is a common thing. Starting from asteroids to galaxies, objects spin on their axes and around much larger objects. Astronomers now think that the most well-known structure in the universe, the cosmic fibers, is also rotating on an axis. Searches have been reported in Nature Astronomy. Cosmic or galaxy filaments are made up of walls of gravitationally bound superclusters. They can be 160 to 260 million light-years long and are threads of the cosmic web that extend from huge nodes to large nodes with the infamous cosmic voids around them.
Such structures are not easy to study. These are constant, so astronomers work by listing their presence and structure as giant galaxies – this was also necessary for this study. The first evidence of spinning filaments comes from taking data from thousands of filaments and stacking one on top of the other. Lead author Dr Peng Wang, an astronomer at the Astrophysics Institute Potsdam (AIP), said in a statement, “Surveying Thousands of Galaxies – Using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, we have found a significant property of these fibers by mapping the speed of galaxies on these vast cosmic highways: they spin.”
The researchers showed this by looking at the motion of the galaxy on both sides of the supposed axis of rotation. On the one hand galaxies seem to be moving towards us, on the other hand away from us, which is what we would expect from an object rotating. This rotation becomes more pronounced when the filaments are viewed edge-on, as one would expect. Also, each end had the most extensive collections of galaxies that filaments appeared at a faster speed than the others.
“Despite being a thin cylinder – the dimensions of a pencil are the same – millions of light-years long, but only a few million light-years in diameter, these dazzling tendrils of matter are spinning,” said Dr. Noam Libisind added. AIP “The galaxies in these fibers are just dust. They move in an orbital helix or corkscrew, orbiting around the middle of the filament while traveling with it.