Like it or not, mathematics underpins our whole existence, either by conscious design or through natural selection. Our ancestors were very appreciative of the significance of mathematics, illustrated by the precise geometric alignments that have been observed in the construction and placements of ancient monuments on earth, such as Stonehenge and the pyramids, that align them with other monuments nearby, and also with astronomical events such as sunrise or sunset.
Other such precise alignments occur in natural formations, such as flowers, which follow the amazing sequence of numbers discovered by Leonardo Fibonacci that link nature with mathematics. This Fibonacci sequence, which adds together the next number with the previous number, is the root of another mathematician sequence known as the Golden Ratio, seen widely in nature and thought to exist in nature because its particular growth pattern is the most effective. Another mathematician, Adolf Zeisig, identified the golden ratio in the formation of plant stems, veins in leaves, the skeletons of animals, chemical compounds and the geometry of crystals.
Now new observations from a massive telescope based in Chile have indicated that similar mathematical alignments appear to link some of the most enormous structures in the Universe, even though they are located billions of light years apart. The rotation axes of central supermassive black holes in a sample of quasars were shown to be parallel to one another across inconceivable distances, and the rotation axes of their host quasars were aligned with the vast structures in their cosmic neighborhood.
A quasar is a brilliantly luminous quasar but compact region in the center of a massive galaxy with a phenomenally large black hole at its core. Ninety-three different quasars were studied by a team from the University of Liège in Belgium, using the huge telescope from the Chilean sites of the European Southern Observatory, which operates three unique world-class observing sites in Chile: La Silla, Paranal and Chajnantor.
“The first odd thing we noticed was that some of the quasars’ rotation axes were aligned with each other — despite the fact that these quasars are separated by billions of light-years,” said team leader Damien Hutsemékers.
Astronomers have noted that galaxies are not evenly distributed, but formed in what is known as a "large scale structure" which begins at stellar level. Stars are organized into galaxies, which in turn form galaxy groups, galaxy clusters, superclusters, sheets, walls and filaments. These materials are separated by immense voids, creating a vast foam-like structure sometimes called the "cosmic web".
Hutsemékers’ team then went further and looked to see if the rotation axes were linked, not just to each other, but also to the structure of the Universe on large scales at that time. The results showed that the rotation axes of the quasars appear to be parallel to the large scale structures they resided in, and that the
probability of this happening by chance was les than 1%.
“A correlation between the orientation of quasars and the structure they belong to is an important prediction of numerical models of evolution of our Universe. Our data provide the first observational confirmation of this effect, on scales much larger that what had been observed to date for normal galaxies,” added fellow researcher Dominique Sluse of the Argelander-Institut für Astronomie in Bonn, Germany and University of Liège.
The team could not see the rotation axes or the jets of the quasars directly. Instead they measured the polarisation of the light from each quasar and, for 19 of them, found a significantly polarised signal. The direction of this polarisation, combined with other information, could be used to deduce the angle of the accretion disc and hence the direction of the spin axis of the quasar.
“The alignments in the new data, on scales even bigger than current predictions from simulations, may be a hint that there is a missing ingredient in our current models of the cosmos,” concluded Dominique Sluse.
The findings were presented in a paper entitled “Alignment of quasar polarizations with large-scale structures“, by D. Hutsemékers et al., published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics on 19 November 2014.
The significance of such precise alignment occurring on such a grand scale is mind-blowing. Nothing in this limitless universe appears to form randomly, surely fuelling the religious theory of some intelligent "grand designer." Even more interestingly, the formation of these cosmic large structures closely resemble the formation of brain neurons. Do we actually exist inside the Brain of God?
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