Super Structure - Evidence for Handedness Spiral Galaxies

  • Thread starter betzalel
  • Start date
There is observational evidence for preferred alignment of spiral galaxies with alignment to the so called axis of evil in the CMB (cosmic microwave backgound 2.75K) data.



http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0707/0707.3793.pdf

Evidence for a Preferred Handedness of Spiral Galaxies

In this article I study the distribution of spiral galaxies in the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) to investigate whether the universe has an overall handedness. A preference for spiral galaxies in one sector of the sky to be left-handed or right-handed spirals would indicate a preferred handedness. The SDSS data show a strong signal for such an asymmetry with a probability <0.2%. The asymmetry axis is at (RA,δ) ~(202°,25°) with an uncertainty ~15°. The axis appears to be correlated with that of the quadrupole and octopole moments in the WMAP microwave sky survey, an unlikely alignment that has been dubbed "the axis of evil". Our Galaxy is aligned with its spin axis along the same direction as the majority of the spirals...

...The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) studied the cosmic microwave background (CMB) radiation (G. Hinshaw et al. 2006). Their results for the angular power spectra have been analyzed by Schwarz et al. (2004) and many others. Schwarz et al. show that: (1) the quadrupole plane and the three octopole planes are aligned, (2) three of these are orthogonal to the ecliptic, (3) the normals to these planes are aligned with the direction of the cosmological dipole and with the equinoxes. The respective probabilities that these alignments could happen by chance are 0.1%, 0.9%, and 0.4%. This alignment is considered to be so bizarre that it has been referred to as "the axis of evil" (AE) by K. Land and J. Magueijo (2005). Their nominal AE is at (l, b) ≈ (–100°, 60°), corresponding to (RA, δ) = (173°, 4°). The alignment with the ecliptic and equinoxes is especially problematic because this would suggest a serious bias in the WMAP data that is related to the direction of the Earth's spin axis, which is highly unlikely. Resolving this quandary requires data from another source with different systematics than WMAP...
We also see that the spin asymmetry is well aligned with the North Galactic Pole of our Galaxy (NGP in Fig. 3) at (193°,27°). This is due to the fact that our Galaxy also has its axis along the spin alignment with a handedness like that of the majority of the spiral galaxies. The probability that the axis of our Galaxy is aligned within 15° with the preferred spin axis by chance is 1.7%. Since most astronomical surveys, including the SDSS, tend to make observations toward the NGP and SGP to avoid the obscuration due to the Milky Way, the spin alignment axis is accidentally aligned with the SDSS coverage. ...

... The approximate agreement of the spin alignment axis with the WMAP quadrupole/ octopole axes reinforces the finding of an asymmetry in spiral galaxy handedness and suggests that this special axis spans the universe. The fact that the spin asymmetry appears to be independent of redshift suggests that it is not connected to local structure. On the other hand, the spiral galaxy handedness represents a unique and completely independent confirmation that the AE is not an artifact in the WMAP data due to foreground contamination.
http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1104/1104.2815.pdf
 

Chronos

Science Advisor
Gold Member
11,398
733
The 'Axis of Evil' has been a controversial topic. Even the originator of the term has shown a change of heart [The Axis of Evil revisited: http://arxiv.org/abs/astro-ph/0611518] [Broken]. A posteriori statistics are a notorious source of 'amazing' discoveries. Certain researchers have made a career out of them [e.g., Halton Arp]. See http://www.universetoday.com/55200/seven-year-wmap-results-no-theyre-not-anomalies/ and http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/the-universe-the-new-axis-of-evil-465199.html for discussion. The handedness 'anomaly' has been known since the early SDSS data releases, but, its significance [if any] is not well understood. Marcelo Berman hypothesizes it could be evidence for 'rotation' of the universe - e.g., http://arxiv.org/abs/physics/0610003. Other studies suggest the possible degree of rotation is very tightly constrained - e,g., http://arxiv.org/abs/0902.4575
 
Last edited by a moderator:
The alignment of spiral galaxy spins is interesting. Interesting that no one asks why?

The CMB is a tough nut to understand. I can make no predictions concerning that one.

http://arxiv.org/pdf/1001.4758v2.pdf

The observational data indicates there are super structures. I believe that is not in contention. There are super structures.
 

Physics Forums Values

We Value Quality
• Topics based on mainstream science
• Proper English grammar and spelling
We Value Civility
• Positive and compassionate attitudes
• Patience while debating
We Value Productivity
• Disciplined to remain on-topic
• Recognition of own weaknesses
• Solo and co-op problem solving

Hot Threads

Top