There are a dozen black holes all spewing radio waves and gas in the same direction. Coincidence, or evidence of how the universe itself is comprised? That’s what researchers are trying to figure out.
Science News reports that a new study of 64 galaxies has found that 12 of them are all expelling gas and radio waves aligned in the same direction. These matter releases are caused where the supermassive black holes’ magnetic fields launch infalling debris into space.
The report notes that, if these “galactic geysers” are aligned, that would mean the black holes are rotating in the same direction. If that is true, the researchers believe these disparate black holes (separated over an area of 100 million light-years) could all have been influenced by a larger force at work in the universe.
“What we’re seeing is the result of a very large region in the early universe spinning coherently in the same direction,” the study’s lead author Russ Taylor, an astrophysicist at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, said via Science News. [It could be a] new wrinkle to explain how large-scale structure formed.”
The report notes that it could be evidence of how things are connected and influenced by the filaments of galaxies branching out all over the universe. It’s heady stuff, no doubt, but it’s positively awe-inspiring to see how the universe itself is potentially connected, even across the vast distances of nothingness.
Of course, not everyone in the scientific community agrees. Considering this sample size is just 12 of 64 galaxies, skeptics note you’d need to study far more galaxies to truly gauge the correlation. The team plans to do just that, and it’ll be interesting to see what they eventually find.