News: The cosmic web has been imaged on a large scale for the first time. The study has been published in the journal Science.
- Galaxies across the universe are connected by a complex structure made up of filaments of dark matter and sheets of hydrogen gas. The network connecting these intergalactic filaments is known as cosmic web.
- The existence of the cosmic web is central to current theories of how galaxies first formed following the big bang, however, evidence for it had remained largely theoretical.
- The recent observations of the cosmic web support the cold dark matter theory of galaxy formation.
Cold dark matter theory:
- The theory suggest that hydrogen gas created in the big bang collapses first into sheets and then into filaments strung out across space.
- In places where filaments cross or are clustered together, galaxies form and the filaments continue to fuel the growth of galaxies by feeding them a steady stream of gas.
- Dark matter is a form of matter thought to account for approximately 85% of the matter in the universe and about 25% of its total energy density.
- Most dark matter is thought to be non-baryonic (not composed primarily of baryons- protons, neutrons and all the objects composed of them) in nature, possibly being composed of some as-yet undiscovered subatomic particles.