<p dir="ltr">Galaxies aren't splashed uniformly across the universe. Rather, they're strung into immense cosmic webs, with glittering galactic filaments woven around vast, hollow voids.</p><p dir="ltr">Scientists trying to understand how these massive structures form have used computers to spin their own cosmic webs. The simulation above, produced by the <a href="http://www.illustris-project.org/">Illustris Project</a>, shows how dark matter (in blue) and gas (in orange) are distributed in a giant galactic cluster stretching roughly 300 million light-years across.</p><p>Recently, a different team of scientists observed that the supermassive black holes churning away in the hearts of galaxies <a href="http://www.eso.org/public/news/eso1438/">tend to rotate along parallel axes</a>—even when the galaxies are separated by billions of light-years. It's a startling observation, and one that suggests we have much still to learn about how these large-scale structures form.</p><p><em>—By Nadia Drake, photo gallery by Adrian Coakley</em></p>

Giant Galactic Web

Galaxies aren't splashed uniformly across the universe. Rather, they're strung into immense cosmic webs, with glittering galactic filaments woven around vast, hollow voids.

Scientists trying to understand how these massive structures form have used computers to spin their own cosmic webs. The simulation above, produced by the Illustris Project, shows how dark matter (in blue) and gas (in orange) are distributed in a giant galactic cluster stretching roughly 300 million light-years across.

Recently, a different team of scientists observed that the supermassive black holes churning away in the hearts of galaxies tend to rotate along parallel axes—even when the galaxies are separated by billions of light-years. It's a startling observation, and one that suggests we have much still to learn about how these large-scale structures form.

—By Nadia Drake, photo gallery by Adrian Coakley

Photograph by ESO/Illustris Collaboration

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