Questions for “Cosmic filaments may have the biggest spin in outer space”

illustration of a cosmic filament

Cosmic filaments are strands of dark matter and galaxies (illustrated). Scientists now know they rotate, pulling matter into their orbit and toward galaxy clusters at each end.

A. Khalatyan/J. Fohlmeister/AIP

To accompany “Cosmic filaments may have the biggest spin in outer space


Before Reading:

1.  There are many different types of celestial objects. Name as many types as you can — and where in space you would find them.

2.  What is dark matter? Why do many scientists find dark matter so interesting?

During Reading:

1.  What are cosmic filaments and in what way are they like part of a spider’s web?

2.  What happens when these filaments twist?

3.  Until now, what has been the biggest type of thing in space known to twist?

4.  How big are cosmic filaments?

5.  What did scientists use a computer model for in their search to look for rotating filaments?

After Reading:

1.  What was the most surprising thing you learned in this story?

2.  What do findings such as the one reported in this story tell us about the shape or structure of the cosmos? (You might think of that structure as how things in space relate to one another.)