Astronomers have long hypothesized that a connection, known as the Magellanic Bridge: a vast stream of neutral gas stretching 75,000 light years, exists between our galaxy’s two nearest galactic neighbors: the Large (LMC) and Small Magellanic Clouds (SMC).
ESO/J. Colosimo: LMC and SMC
The Magellanic Bridge has now been confirmed, thanks to the cooperative research from University of Sydney and University of Toronto.
Lead researcher, Jane Kaczmarek, in a recent University of Toronto press release:
“There were hints that this magnetic field might exist, but no one had observed it until now.”
“The radio emission from the distant galaxies served as background ‘flashlights’ that shine through the Bridge,” says Kaczmarek. “Its magnetic field then changes the polarization of the radio signal. How the polarized light is changed tells us about the intervening magnetic field.”
They have noted this field is one million times stronger than the magnetic shield that surrounds our planet. How this connection was either formed, or ripped from interaction between the two dwarf galaxies, still remains elusive.
“In general, we don’t know how such vast magnetic fields are generated, nor how these large-scale magnetic fields affect galaxy formation and evolution,” says Kacsmarek. “The LMC and SMC are our nearest neighbours, so understanding how they evolve may help us understand how our Milky Way Galaxy will evolve.”
A bridge between stars. All things connected. The great cosmic web.
“Not only are entire galaxies magnetic, but the faint delicate threads joining galaxies are magnetic, too. Everywhere we look in the sky, we find magnetism.”
– Prof. Bryan Gaensler, Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, and a co-author on the paper
An electric current produces magnetism, and a magnet can produce an electric current. Each electron in every atom is surrounded by force called an electric field. When the electron moves, it creates a magnetic field, exactly like our planet, and every other celestial body.
From the atom to the galaxy, all things scale, magnetic electric fields that connect.
Bear in mind in order for Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to work, he had to create a constant, i.e. a medium.
The universe is not an empty vacuum of space. We in fact exist, in an electric universe.