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Mysterious Alignment Of Black Holes Puzzles Astronomers

Observations by radio telescopes reveal an intriguing cosmic alignment. Seven billion light-years away from Earth, many black holes appear to be whirling and heading in the same general direction.

Although this alignment is almost 60 million light-years vast, South African experts are still unsure of how it came to be. A significant portion of the 65 radio galaxy jets that the astronomers examined were oriented along a filament of around 1°. Less than 0.1 percent of the time, according to their analysis, may have been a random event.

According to Professor Andrew Russ Taylor, the study's lead author, "this spin alignment must have occurred during the formation of the galaxies in the early universe because these black holes don't know about each other, or have any way of exchanging information or directly influencing each other over such vast scales."

Immediately following the Big Bang, the cosmos underwent a period of exponential development known as cosmic inflation. The so-called cosmic web is what we now observe in the cosmos as a result of primordial quantum fluctuations that were magnified to macroscopic proportions by the expansion of the universe. Initially, these fluctuations caused only minor changes in the distribution of matter in the universe.

According to the cosmic web, galaxies are arranged in clusters with filaments extending between them and huge gaps around them. The principal cosmological theories predict that galaxies may position themselves any way they choose inside the web, therefore this result was obviously unexpected.


The research, which was published in the Royal Astronomical Society's Monthly Notices, makes several possible reasons for this behaviour. A cosmic magnetic field, for instance, may force the black holes and their jets to align; other explanations include fields connected to exotic particles or even strange cosmic strings.


The astronomers were surprised by the discovery. In order to build the framework for the next generation of radio observatories like MeerKAT and the Square Kilometer Array, the investigation's objective was to examine the universe's weakest radio emissions.

According to Professor Taylor, "we are starting to understand how the large-scale structure of the universe developed, starting from the Big Bang and growing as a result of disturbances in the early universe, to what we have today, and that helps us explore what the universe of tomorrow will be like.

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