A new cosmic map revealed hidden structures that connect galaxies, these could help scientists model a future collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda, the galaxy closest to ours.
The new cosmic map, made with machine learning, could also do light on the influence of dark matter in the evolution of our universe, or at least that’s it the participating scientists said in a declaration of Pennsylvania State University.
As for the collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda, which should occur in 4.5 billion years, the map plotted the dark matter filaments connecting the two galaxies that could affect the merger, the team said.
There dark matter accounts for about 80% of the matter in the universe, but, along with dark energy, it is little known. Dark matter is invisible in the wavelengths of light, so it cannot be seen with telescopes, however scientists can trace the influence of dark matter’s gravity on large cosmic structures, such as galaxies.
“Since dark matter dominates the dynamics of the universe, it basically determines our destiny.
We can ask a computer to evolve the map for billions of years to see what will happen in the local universe, and we can evolve the model back in time to understand the history of our cosmic neighborhood “
stated in the statement the co-author of study Donghui Jeong, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State.
The researchers built the new cosmic map using machine learning, a type of artificial intelligence in which computers learn from a test dataset to make their own classification decisions.
How the new cosmic map brought this data to us
Scientists trained a model using a large set of galaxy simulations, called IllustrisTNG, the learning set included galaxies similar to ours, the Milky Way, with the aim of better understanding which galactic properties best predict the distribution of dark matter.
“Ironically, it is easier to study the distribution of dark matter much farther [dalla Terra] because it reflects the past far away, which is much less complex.
Over time, as the large-scale structure of the universe has grown, the complexity of the universe has increased, so it is inherently more difficult to measure dark matter locally ”.
he said Jeong.
Once the model was ready to start classifying information on its own, the researchers showed it real-life data from the galaxy catalog. Cosmicflows-3, which includes i movements and distribution of 17,000 galaxies within 200 megaparsecs – a parsec is about 3.26 light years, which is about 19.2 trillion miles or 30.9 trillion kilometers– from the Milky Way.
With the data included, the new cosmic map model accurately reproduced the local group of galaxies near the Milky Way, as well as a known “local void” that includes empty regions of nearby space, among other structures visible in the new cosmic map.
The new cosmic map also showed several new filaments that the team plans to study further, including those linking our galaxy to Andromeda.
The new cosmic map will be even more accurate after the James Webb Space Telescope $ 9.8 billion NASA, expected to launch later this year, it will send data that will allow researchers to see even fainter and more distant galaxiesthe researchers said.
“Having a local map of the cosmic network opens a new chapter in cosmological study. We can study how dark matter distribution relates to other emission data, which will help us understand the nature of dark matter “
A research-based article was published on May 26 on the The Astrophysical Journal, with the team that was led by Sungwook Hong, who has a dual affiliation with the University of Seoul and the Korea Astronomy and Space Science Institute.
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