Humans have only delved into 4% of the universe. However, as we get more au courant about this unique, unfamiliar body of dust and gas we call the universe, astronomers from University Of Tokyo and Space Researchers at RIKEN have discovered the first-ever image of the cosmic web.
So what are cosmic webs?
We are all familiar with the concept of zooming out of a picture, similarly, if we zoom out far enough into the universe we observe cosmic webs. Prior knowledge dictates that during nucleosynthesis an astounding amount of hydrogen was formed. The big bang also left long filaments of hydrogen(These filaments contained 60% of the universe’s hydrogen), these filaments stretched throughout the universe. With temperatures nearing that of the core of the sun which is 27 million degrees Fahrenheit or 15 million degrees Celsius.
12 billion light-years away, astronomers noticed that stars emitted ultraviolet light which was then absorbed and re-emitted by hydrogen filaments which in order led to the discovery of the web.
Cosmic Webs act as a gas donor to almost all star-forming galaxies providing them with hydrogen which is the gas “component” of a star.
A hydrogen filament is known as the Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall is a cosmic web which 10 billion light-years long (9.46 x 10 ^22 km) and engulfs 7 billion galaxies!
An interesting fact observed about these long hydrogen filaments is that galaxies are found at the points of their intersection.
Before this discovery, most assumed that being able to see the cosmic webs was impossible. This is because of the light emissions of neighboring galaxies.
The dark spaces between the cosmic webs are voids that have diameters of 10-100 megaparsecs (3.086 x 10^5 km -3.086 × 10^15 km). The bright white spots are where galaxy stars are currently being formed.
As the universe expands, the webs also expand/stretch. Astronomers thus concluded that there is a possibility of creating a map of the ENTIRE universe all through the use of cosmic webs. Another theory stated that it is possible to discover the exact time and position of future galaxies that are going to be formed.
The validity of these predictions and the future of cosmic webs will be driven by one factor: the intensity of negative-gravity possessed by dark energy which causes the universe to expand. However, there are still billions and billions of years for the given to occur.