For the first time, astronomers have caught a glimpse of shock waves rippling along strands of the cosmic web — the enormous tangle of galaxies, gas and dark matter that fills the observable universe.
Combining hundreds of thousands of radio telescope images revealed the faint glow cast as shock waves send charged particles flying through the magnetic fields that run along the cosmic web. Spotting these shock waves could give astronomers a better look at these large-scale magnetic fields, whose properties and origins are largely mysterious, researchers report in the Feb. 17 Science Advances.
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Finally, astronomers “can confirm what so far has only been predicted by simulations — that these shock waves exist,” says astrophysicist