Shock waves shaking the “cosmic web” connecting galaxies observed for the first time

The cosmic web winds around cosmic voids millions of light-years across. Predicted by astrophysicists in the 1960s, computer models showed what this vast network actually looked like in the 1980s.

In recent decades, scientists have been able to map the Cosmic Web through observation, opening up the possibility of finding answers to some of the most important concerns in astronomy.

How do magnetic fields behave on a cosmic scale? What role do they play in the formation of both galactic and cosmic structures? These questions remain an area of special interest.

We are learning more about these cosmic magnetic fields thanks to recent research, conducted by the International Center for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) in collaboration with CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency.

Dr Tessa Vernstrom, from the ICRAR node at the University of Western Australia (UWA), is the lead author of the research, describing magnetism as a fundamental force of nature.

According to Dr. Vernstrom, “magnetic fields permeate the universe, from planets and stars to the largest spaces between galaxies.”

“However, many aspects of cosmic magnetism are still not fully understood, especially at the scales observed in the cosmic web.”

“When matter merges in the universe, it produces a shock wave that accelerates the particles, amplifying these intergalactic magnetic fields.”