Ours, it would seem, this familiar universe is permeated through a giant invisible spider web that is impossible to detect, see or touch. Despite the fact that the universe is a well ordered structure, obeying fundamental physical laws, there is a place for the mysterious dark matter, which exerts gravitational attraction but does not emit light. So what is the cosmic web and how it can be related to dark matter?
What is the cosmic web?
Once upon a time, our universe was much smaller, hotter and denser than it is now. In this rather boring region the density differed from place to place, wherever you went, everything would be about the same as in abandoned your previous point. However, this is extremely monotonous and tiny random differences in density. These spatial anomalies could boast a slightly greater gravitational attraction than everything around them, gradually drawing to itself more matter and becoming more and more over time. Over time the space between increasingly larger objects is empty, tight spots turned into stars, galaxies and clusters of galaxies, and the space between them turned into huge space of emptiness.
After 13.8 billion years after the beginning of this ambitious space construction, work on the creation of the Universe is not finished yet. The remains of matter still flows out of the voids, gradually connecting with groups of stars and galaxies. What we have today is a complex network of filaments of matter: the cosmic web.
The vast majority of matter in our Universe is dark; she doesn’t interact with light or any other matter, which we see as stars, gas clouds and other interesting things. As a result, much of the cosmic web is completely invisible to us. However, in areas where accumulated dark matter, it is possible to notice that the invisible blobs, dragging and a part of ordinary matter. Stretching millions of light years, these thin threads are swirls of galaxies to act as huge space motorway that connects the galaxies to each other.
Due to the enormous size of the space, simulation of an extended object such a long time caused difficulties. However, recently a group of astronomers made a big step forward in mapping our space network, published their findings in January in the base data arXiv.