Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About usNews and EventsNews articles

A void perspective of the cosmic web

13 November 2009

Voids are nearly empty regions in the Universe that can extend to millions of lightyears in size. They are a characteristic part of a complex bubble-like foam called the Large Scale Structure. It consists of dense nodes that are interconnected by a network of filaments and sheets, hence the origin of the alternative name, the Cosmic Web.

We have developed an accurate method to find such voids. The method can even provide a classification of the overdense structures that surround the voids. This allows us to describe in one consistent way the building blocks of the Cosmic Web: voids, filaments and walls.

Using our methods we are able to make accurate cosmographical maps of the Large Scale Structures in the nearby Universe. We show that the voids are an integral part of these mapped structures. For example their shape is deformed by strong tidal forces extorted by massive clusters that surround the voids. Such clusters are usually clustered into larger agglomerates called superclusters.

Also the voids cluster, forming even more extended objects called supervoids. Such superclusters and supervoids align themselves to form larger entities called Great Walls, they appear to be common elements in the nearby Universe. On smaller scales we can also locate the lonely galaxies that reside in the midst of large and almost empty voids. Free from all the complexities in denser regions, the properties of such isolated galaxies tells us a lot about the general formation scenario of galaxies. For example one of our studied voidgalaxies is embedded within a voidwall and has an oddly configured gas-disk. The disk is not regularly oriented with its stars, but is aligned perpendicular to it, suggesting that cold gas has been accreted from out of the voids. The voids thus provides us with an unique and distinct perspective on the the Universe.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.39 p.m.
printView this page in: Nederlands

More news

  • 11 October 2019

    Down Under with Top Dutch

    After two years of hard work, the Groningen Top Dutch Solar Racing team has arrived in Australia. The team consists of students of the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, University of Groningen, and secondary vocational education (MBO) and is currently...

  • 08 October 2019

    Making a splash in whale research

    He disliked genetics as an undergraduate and never really wanted to work with whales. Yet, Per Palsbøll became a worldwide expert in the genetics of marine mammals, heading a research programme spanning the entire globe. Introducing the concept of...

  • 03 October 2019

    New criteria for bank loans and stock exchanges listings could protect depleted marine resources from seafood sector

    Two reforms in the finance sector have the potential to accelerate action towards a sustainable seafood industry, according to new research published in the journal Science Advances. Compiling data on 160 publicly listed seafood companies and 3000...