Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Space Science

Analysis of Galaxy Spin Reveals Universe Might Be Left-Handed 171

Taco Cowboy writes "Someone from US is claiming that the universe was born spinning and continues to do so around a preferred axis." The full paper has more details. The researchers measured the spin of a number of galaxies in the northern hemisphere; the data indicated a distinct bias toward left-handed spins. "Longo says that the chance that it could be a cosmic accident is something like one in a million. 'If galaxies tend to spin in a certain direction, it means that the overall universe should have a rather large net angular momentum. Since angular momentum is conserved, it seems it [the universe] must have been "born" spinning.'" Naturally, there is some skepticism: "Neta Bahcall, an astrophysicist at Princeton University in the US, feels that there is no solid evidence for a rotating universe. 'The directional spin of spiral galaxies may be impacted by other local gravitational effects,' she said. She believes that this could result in small correlations in spin rotation over distances less than about 200 Mpc – whereas the observable universe is about 14 Gpc in size."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Analysis of Galaxy Spin Reveals Universe Might Be Left-Handed

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @02:47PM (#37753030)

    'Everyone is born Right Handed, only the best can Grow out of it'....

  • Wait (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arancaytar ( 966377 ) <> on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @03:17PM (#37753422) Homepage

    What does "left-handed spin" even mean when there is no "up"?

    If we see a galaxy spinning clockwise, then someone looking at it from the other side (facing us) will see it rotating the other way. If they're all spinning the same way when viewed from our perspective, does that also mean we are at the center of the universe?

  • by mikael ( 484 ) on Tuesday October 18, 2011 @04:00PM (#37753962)

    BBC had a really cool animation of all the galaxies orbiting each other in the known universe. Each spiral arm galaxy has the stars orbiting the central black hole. In turn all the centre of every galaxies are trying to move in straight lines, but end up colliding, merging as well as being deflected.

    The research here measures the spin axis of each galaxy through doppler shift measurements. The side spinning towards the observer will have an opposite red-shift to the side-spinning away from the observer. From the shape of the galaxy on the camera plane, they can determine the tilt and rotation towards the camera.

    What I don't understand is how they define the top and the bottom of the galaxy (or positive axis/negative axis), in order to determine clockwise/anti-clockwise rotation. Otherwise everything is going to be spinning in one direction or the other.

interlard - vt., to intersperse; diversify -- Webster's New World Dictionary Of The American Language