Vast Strands in the Cosmic Web That Connects the Universe Are Spinning, Scientists Find

The mind-boggling finding reveals that filaments within the cosmic web, an enormous network of dark matter and gas structures that connects the universe, are rotating, making them “the largest objects known to have angular momentum,” according to a study published in Nature Astronomy. “It’s a major finding,” said Noam Libeskind, a cosmologist at AIP who initiated the project and co-authored the study, in a joint call with Peng Wang. “It’s a pretty big deal that we’ve discovered angular momentum, or vorticity, on such a huge scale.”

“I think it will help people understand cosmic flows and how galaxies are moving throughout the cosmic web and through the universe,” he added. “It will help us better understand the important scales for galaxy formation and ultimately, why everything in the universe is spinning and how spin is generated. That is a really, really hard question to solve. It’s an unsolved question in cosmology.”

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