Scientists’ Conundrum May be Resolved by Invisible Walls in Space

Without contradicting our existing knowledge of the cosmos, a new hypothesis could be able to explain the satellite disk issue.

What’s the Satellite Disk Problem?

The satellite plane problem (which goes by other phrases, such as planes of satellite galaxies problem) is the mystery that observations have suggested that the Milky Way and Andromeda each have satellite galaxies generally within a plane, and each such plane is not the plane of the host galaxy, but tilted in relation to it.

If the orientation of a disk galaxy came from the rotation the parent protogalaxy, then satellite galaxies would develop spinning around the same axis and in the manner of gravitationally-bound disks, fall into the same plane. The Milky Way and Andromeda are the two major spiral galaxies that we have decent views of, and in both cases, observation reveals that this is not the case, proving that this issue exists.

So what’s the Hypothesis?

The “satellite disk problem,” in which smaller galaxies orbit larger galaxies in thin, flat planes rather than the messier orbits that would be expected under the Lambda cold dark matter (CDM) model — the “fanastically successful paradigm” that defines how we observe space — is one of the biggest challenges to our traditional understanding of the cosmos.

In order to circumvent this problem, astronomers Aneesh Naik and Clare Burrage of the University of Nottingham propose that particles called “symmetrons” are producing invisible boundaries in space known as “domain walls,” which in turn generate what they refer to as a potential “fifth force” in physics.

The new hypothesis is important because it solves the satellite disk problem without eliminating dark matter, according to the authors, who claim they were able to verify the effect using “basic simulations of a toy model consisting point-like satellites and an infinite domain wall.”

About 85% of the stuff in the cosmos is made up of dark matter, a nonluminous substance. It can appear in a variety of ways, including weakly interacting particles and high-energy particles that move randomly after the Big Bang.

Scientists still don’t fully comprehend dark matter. Recently, a hazy galaxy that seemed to be devoid of dark matter perplexed astronomers. Its real nature is still unknown, much like so much else in the cosmos.

In the interim, researchers will carry out more thorough simulations to further explore the possibilities of “symmetrons”.

For more science news, see how NASA intends to utilize Unreal Engine 5 to help astronauts get ready for a trip to Mars and how recently found fossils explain how prehistoric dogs were different from our own devoted friends.