Cosmic voids occupy approximately 80% of the volume of the known Universe and in the future they will play their negative role in its existence.
In the Universe there are areas of space where there are no galaxies or stars. That is, sometimes very small galaxies are found there, but this is more the exception than the rule. These areas of space are called voids or cosmic voids and their size reaches hundreds of millions of light years. And in the future, these gaps will grow to encompass the entire universe, according to Paul Sutter of the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
All the stars in space are in galaxies, and many galaxies are grouped in galaxy clusters. All these structures, both individual galaxies and their clusters, form a large structure, the so-called cosmic web. That is, between individual clusters there are peculiar long threads, along which there are billions of individual galaxies. But between the threads of the cosmic web there are huge areas of empty or almost empty space: voids or cosmic voids. There is nothing here, but only sometimes individual dwarf galaxies can be found here.
That is, approximately 80% of the total volume of our Universe is made up of these voids, which were known only about 40 years ago. These voids arose at the dawn of the Universe’s existence, even before the appearance of the first stars and galaxies.
Billions of years ago, the matter in our universe was almost homogeneous, with no differences in different places. And at the same time, small differences still existed, and the older the universe got, the bigger the differences became, Sutter says.
“In some places there was a greater accumulation of matter than in others, and this mass had a greater gravitational attraction. With that, gravity pulled even more matter towards itself, leaving separate parts of space empty,” says the scientist.
Hundreds of millions of years after the Big Bang, the cosmic fabric began to form, the first stars, the first galaxies and the first clusters of galaxies appeared, among which the aforementioned threads appeared.
“As the cosmic web grew, so did the voids which, despite taking up most of the volume of the universe, actually contain around 1/10 of its total mass,” says Sutter.
Now scientists believe that the Universe is not just expanding, but expanding rapidly, and this acceleration is given by the mysterious dark energy. But so far, scientists cannot say for sure what it is, although there is evidence of its existence.
According to Sutter, dark energy is probably embedded in the fabric of space-time itself, and if we are talking about cosmic voids, then there is nothing in them that could counteract the influence of dark energy. Therefore, the voids grow and expand. At the same time, they further repel the threads of the cosmic web that surrounds them.
Sutter believes that in around 10 to 20 billion years, the entire cosmic web with all the galaxies will disappear as a single structure. Their threads will break and cease to exist under the influence of the expanding voids. Most likely, only individual galaxy clusters will survive, which will be islands in a vast ocean of universal emptiness.
The scientist believes that in order to understand the nature of dark energy, it is necessary to pay attention to these gaps. Space voids make the best time capsules in space, since they haven’t changed much in billions of years. So the answers to many mysteries of cosmology can be found in these gaps, Sutter says.
As a recent study suggests, scientists have miscalculated the age of the universe and, because of this, are unable to explain some mysterious phenomena. about this theory Focus I already wrote in detail.
Also Focus wrote that a new study offers an answer to the question of where the famous interstellar object ‘Oumuamua flew into the solar system from.