There are many things in space that humanity is yet to fully understand and one of these is are ‘planes of satellite galaxies’ around the Milky Way and surrounding galaxies. But researchers at the University of Nottingham propose that there are ‘invisible barriers’ in space, which likely led to the creation of these planes. The Lambda-CDM model posits that smaller galaxies orbiting larger galaxies should be dributed randomly in a haphazard manner around the larger ones. But instead, scients often observe that these smaller galaxies are often arranged in flat planes around the larger ones, similar to the rings of Saturn.
These observations are in contravention of the standard model, which is what prompted the researchers to propose a new model where there are invisible walls or invisible barriers in space. The scients have documented their proposal in a pre-print research article titled, “Dark sector domain walls could explain the observed planes of satellites,” which can be found on arXiv.
They propose that these barriers are created a ‘fifth force’ that is a result of a new kind of particle called a symmetron. Currently, the concept of symmetrons and the fifth force is purely theoretical. The symmetron field is proposed as a field that permeates the universe and gives rise to a new fifth force. It is also a candidate for the explanation of dark energy and an explanation for why the universe is accelerating.
It is named the symmetron field because it has symmetry in regions of high density. But in regions of low density, this symmetry is broken and a fifth force is mediated. This could explain how these ‘planes of satellites’ remain stable within their disks since the symmetron field would still be symmetric, creating no net force.
But as soon as these satellites move outside of the disk, a symmetron force could be exerted on them, bringing them back to the disk.
The University of Nottingham researchers have run a few simple simulations with these symmetron fields that currently seem to provide an explanation for the creation of these ‘planes of satellites’. The authors also state that there needs to be further research in the field before this model can be further validated.