June 22, 2024
spiral universe evolution
History of the Spiral Universe

We discussed the structure of the universe in our previous article titled The Spiral Universe.  We concluded that the universe is spinning on its axis like a giant spiral galaxy. We drew this conclusion based on the Prophetic narrative and observational data. Now, this paper aims to give a
brief history of the universe again with the help of observational data. In our paper
Basics of the Muslim Cosmology, we spotted the light on the faith in creation in
Islam and how the scientific theories progressed towards a universe that
had an origin in the remote past. However, this paper aims to give an updated
history of the spiral universe, from origin to present, based on Muslim
Cosmology.

Divine Programming

Allah Almighty says:

“Glorify the name of your Lord, the Exalted, Who created, then evolved. And Who programmed then guided.”[1]

He says further:

            “He, Whose is the kingdom of the heavens and the earth,  and Who did not take to Himself a son, and Who has no  associate in the kingdom, and Who created everything, so predetermined for it a measure.” [2]

Allah Almighty programmed the harmonic cosmos before its creation. The Qur’anic narratives and
their explanation by the Messenger of Allah (May Allah shower His blessings and peace on him) shows that the ‘Divine Programming’ is inscribed on a physical but non-material tablet named Lawh Mahfooz (Safeguarded Tablet), which lies above the seven heavens. The inscription of Divine Programming marks the beginning of time and space in Muslim Cosmology, which happened 50000 heavenly years before the differentiation of the cosmos into seven heavens and
the earth.

Abdullah b. ‘Amr bin al-‘As (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

I heard Allah’s Messenger () saying: Allah ordained the measures of the creation fifty thousand years
before He created the heavens and the earth.
[3]

 

The inscription in Lawh Mahfooz denotes the creation of light, as it has been reported in Tafsir
Ibn Jarir at-Tabri
that the Safeguarded Tablet is made of light.
[4] The Lawh Mahfooz was nothing but the appearance of an inscription in the form of light. The light-inscribed Lawh
Mahfooz
is said to be Al-Qalam (The Pen) metaphorically, to make the
concept conceivable.

Ubadah bin As-Samit (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:

‘I heard the Messenger of Allah () saying:
“Verily the first of what Allah created was the Pen. He said to it: “Write.” So it wrote what will be forever.’”
[5]

So the creation of the Pen and the Safeguarded Tablet happened concurrently. This is why we say that the inscription on the Safeguarded Tablet denotes the beginning of space and time. The inscription might be a super-complex code that translated into the creation accordingly by the Will of the Almighty Lord.

Evolutionary Pattern in Creation

The Almighty, Knowing, Omnipotent Lord is capable of doing everything, even that which we never imagined. However, He generally creates in an evolutionary pattern, making things possible to comprehend.

We strictly believe in the following Qur’anic narrative:

“Glorify the name of your Lord, the Exalted, Who created, then evolved. And Who programmed then guided.”[6]

It is explicitly mentioned in the Holy Qur’an that Almighty Allah created the cosmos in six consecutive phases or periods, as follows:

Indeed your Lord is Allah Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods and then established Himself on the Throne. He makes the day and night overlap in rapid succession. He created the sun, the moon, and the stars—all subjected to His command. The creation and the command belong to Him ˹alone˺. Blessed is Allah—Lord of all
worlds!
[7]

The creation of the cosmos in six consecutive phases does not violate any Divine Attribute, but it affirms His Chief Attribute Rabb; which renders the Lord Who transforms the simple things into complex and perfect order. So, there is no wonder that Allah Almighty created the cosmos in six lengthy periods.

It is worth mentioning that the Qur’an describes the relativity of time in clear words.

A Day with your Lord is like a thousand years in your reckoning.[8]

 

So, when talking about the period, particularly, in the account of
Creation, one should be clear that the period is referenced to the
heavenly time, rather than the lunar or solar days. Our next paper will address the
relativity of time in sha Allah.



Primordial Light

The eloquent and articulate way of expressing the Holy Qur’an is extremely
appreciable, particularly when it expresses the cosmic facts in comprehensive
and specific words. It is the miraculous style of the Qur’an that expresses the
origin of the cosmos through a single word (

الفلق
Al-Falaq) that appears in the first Ayah of Surah Al-Falaq (Ch.113).

The Qur’an reads:

Say, “I seek refuge in the Lord of Al-Falaq; from the evil of that which He created.” [9]

 

The Arabic construction Al-Falaq has been derived from the root ف ل ق renders to the meaning of breaking open or apart suddenly and violently, especially as a result of an impact or internal pressure. So the proper noun Al-Falaq holds the meaning of a specific burst or explosion. But it is not the whole story of Al-Falaq.[10]

Al-Falaq refers to the intense Burst of Light that caused the creation of matter. It is not a far-fetched meaning for a biased intention. Abdullah bin Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them), a cousin and close companion of the last Messenger Muhammad (May He shower His blessings and peace on him),
profoundly said:

Al-Falaq refers to the creation.”[11]

So Al-Falq refers to the dawn of the cosmos, meant for the appearance of the Primordial Light, in the form of a white hole-like singularity. A white hole is a spiraling pool of intense light with the strongest
electromagnetic field. A group of astrophysicists assumed that the Big Bang was the biggest white hole.
[12]

 

 

However, the white hole is a complement to a black hole theoretically. We don’t believe in the existence of a black hole prior to the Big Bang. No matter existed prior to this cosmic event, to create a black hole. Thence, the Primordial Light Energy was self-sustained and independent of any black hole-like structure. Then where did it come from? Obviously, it came out of Divine Programming.

The beginning of the cosmos from the Primordial Light is not merely an assumption, but strong scientific evidence supports this idea. Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) radiation, scattered throughout space; is the preserved remnant light of the Primordial Light, which is considered a strong
pillar of the Big Bang Theory as well.
[13]

Seeds of Galaxies

We believe that the history of the early universe is preserved in the galaxies. According to the Spiral
Universe model
, originally proposed by the Prophet of Islam Muhammad (May Allah shower His peace and blessings on him), the galaxies evolved out of Primordial Light. The Spiraling Primordial Light gave off the galaxies in the form of Quasars (Quasi-Stellar Radio Sources). Quasars are the seeds of the galaxies.

 

quasars

 

American space agency NASA introduces quasars as follows:

Quasars are
farther away from Earth than any other known object in the 
universe. Because they are so far away
from us, it takes billions of years for the light they give off to reach Earth.
The light stays the same, it just has to travel a long time to get to us. When
we look at a quasar, it is like we are looking back in time. The light we see
today is what the quasar looked like billions of years ago. Some scientists
think that when they study quasars they are studying the beginning of the
universe.

Quasars give off
huge amounts of energy. They can be a trillion times brighter than the
Sun! 
Astronomers think that quasars are
located in galaxies which have 
black holes at their centers. The
black holes may provide quasars with their energy. Quasars are so bright that
they drown out the light from all other stars in the same galaxy. The word
quasar is short for quasi-stellar radio source. Quasars give off 
radio wavesX-rays, gamma raysultraviolet rays, and visible light. Most of them are
larger than our 
solar
 system.[14]

Sometimes, Active Galactic Nucleus (AGN) is treated as a synonym for quasars. European space agency ESA explains Active Galactic Nucleus while discussing the new image of a Quasars SDSS J165202.64+172852.3, recently sent by James Webb Space Telescope:

An AGN is a compact region at the center of a galaxy, which is emitting enough electromagnetic radiation to outshine all the galaxy’s stars. AGNs, including quasars, are powered by gas falling into a supermassive black hole at the center of their galaxy.[15]

These incredible statements from NASA and ESA prove the validity of our idea that quasars are seeds of galaxies, from which a galaxy grow. The highly energetic Primordial Light caused to the production of quasars or the like objects which originally inherited the information from the Primordial Light. In our opinion, the reason behind the extraordinary luminosity of quasars or Active Galactic Nuclei is not the presence of a black hole, but it must be a white hole or something like a white hole. The information inherited from Primordial Light paved the way to create fundamental particles of matter, in all the Active Galactic Nuclei. Because all the Active Galactic Nuclei inherited the same information
in the same conditions, that is why they all follow the same natural laws to
create the same particles of matter.

Scientific data supports that the existence of a white hole in an Active Galactic Nucleus is no longer a strange idea, as these objects emit gamma rays profoundly.

A group of researchers at Harvard University (USA) observes:

There is a new group of γ-ray bursts, which are relatively close to Earth, but surprisingly lack any
supernova emission. We propose identifying these bursts with white holes. White holes seem like the best explanation for γ-ray bursts that appear in voids. We also predict the detection of rare gigantic γ-ray bursts with energies much higher than typically observed.
[16]

Marcelo Samuel Berman, from Instituto Albert Einstein, Brazil, (March 2007) observed in his paper that the entire universe might be behaving like a white hole.

We have shown, in a different context than in Pathria’s paper (where p = 0, and Λ obeys certain conditions), that the closed Robertson-Walker’s Universe, with any value of p constrained to obey Einstein’s field equations, may be thought of as being a white-hole.[17]

In 1994, Ori and Poisson proposed that quasars might be white holes.

White holes were understood as the time reversal of black holes, and therefore, it was believed that they should persistently throw away matter, and be detected much easier than the dark black holes. Initially, white holes were even proposed as an explanation for the brightest objects in the universe – quasars and active galactic nuclei. It was concluded, however, that in white holes that continuously eject matter, a blue sheet of accreted highly accelerated matter will be formed at the event horizon
of the white hole due to its gravitational force.
[18]

Cosmic Fluid/Plasma

Allah Almighty says:

He is the One Who created the heavens and the earth in six periods—and His Throne (Divine Kingdom) was upon the water—to test which of you is best in deeds.[19]

As we mentioned in the paper Basics of the Muslim Cosmology, according to Muslim researchers the
said water is not ordinary water (H2O), but it may refer to a peculiar Cosmic Fluid, which constitutes the fundamental building blocks of matter. In our opinion, this Cosmic Fluid must be plasma.
[20]

Now some quasars have been reported to spew highly accelerated plasma as the following study observed. Carnegie’s Eduardo Bañados led a team that found a quasar with the brightest radio emission ever observed in the early universe, due to it spewing out a jet of extremely fast-moving material.

Bañados’ discovery was followed up by Emmanuel Momjian of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, which allowed the team to see with unprecedented detail the jet shooting out of a quasar that formed within the universe’s first billion years of existence.

This newly discovered quasar, called PSO J352.4034-15.3373, is one of a rare breed that doesn’t just swallow matter into the black hole but also emits a jet of plasma traveling at speeds approaching that of light. This jet makes it extremely bright in the frequencies detected by radio telescopes. Although quasars were identified more than 50 years ago by their strong radio emissions, now we know that only about 10 percent of them are strong radio emitters.[21]

 

NASA confirmed this discovery:

Astronomers have discovered evidence for an extraordinarily long jet of particles coming from a
supermassive black hole in the early universe, using NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory.

The source of the jet is a quasar – a rapidly growing supermassive black hole – named PSO
J352.4034-15.3373 (PJ352-15 for short), which sits at the center of a young galaxy. It is one of the two most powerful quasars detected in radio waves in the first billion years after the Big Bang and is about a billion times more massive than the Sun.

A Russian astronomer, Yuri Kovalev, who heads the MIPT Laboratory of Fundamental and Applied Research of Relativistic Objects of the Universe, commented:

 “The fact that jet radiation was polarized was known. We combined the data obtained by radio and optical telescopes and showed that the polarization is directed along the jet. The conclusion from this is that hot plasma must be moving in a magnetic field that
is coiled like a spring.”
[22]

These studies show that the quasars not only emitted light in the form of exceptional energy but converted light into plasma. However, most astronomers today link the quasars to a black hole instead of a white hole. This is really problematic and appears to be a result of some biased intentions.

Recognized as
one of the giants of twentieth-century astrophysics,
Victor Ambartsumian  (1908 – 12 August 1996) was widely regarded as the founder of theoretical astrophysics in the Soviet Union.


In the 1950s, following the discovery of strong radio sources in external galaxies, Ambartsumian began studying clusters of galaxies and discovered that these too are unstable, thereby implying that
galactic formation also is an ongoing process. In 1958, he gave a report to the Solvay Conference on Physics in Brussels in which he said that explosions in galactic nuclei cause large amounts of mass to be expelled. For these explosions to occur, galactic nuclei must contain bodies of huge masses of
unknown nature. From this point forward Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) became a key component in theories of galactic evolution.[23]

 

According to Ambartsumian, an Active Galactic Nucleus expels out matter, which is a property of a white hole, instead of a black hole. This is what another Russian astronomer Anatoly V. Belyakov claims in his paper titled Are Quazars Whiteholes?  

Another Russian astronomer I.D Novikov referenced Ambartsumian’s article Voprosy Kosmologii (originally published in the Russian language in 1962) and shared Ambartsumian’s conclusions in these words:

Recently, V.A. Ambartsumyan emphasized that considerable masses of matter and of relativistic particles could be ejected from the centers of galaxies and that the temperature phenomena in giant galaxies and radio galaxies is due to the activity of the galactic nuclei. [24]

Ambartsumian’s inferences indicate that the spewing of plasma by Active Galactic Nuclei or quasars is due to the presence of a white hole in the quasars, instead of a black hole. Russian astronomers and cosmologists generally agree with Ambartsumian, while contrary to the US allies’ support of Stephen Hawking’s viewpoint believed in the existence of a black hole in the center of massive galaxies. It means a ‘cold war’ continues among cosmologists. That is why I labeled it as a biased approach.

All galaxies originated as quasars and converted light energy into plasma. So plasma must be dubbed as Cosmic Fluid which is an ionized dense gas that flows like a perfect liquid. Plasma is the Ambartsumian’s pre-stellar material
that forms stars.
[25]

Formation of Stars

Ambartsumian noted in his outstanding work, Theoretical Astrophysics: It can hardly be doubted that the formation of stars in an earlier period in the life of the Galaxy took place through associations. Thus the process of the evolution of the Galaxy must be imagined as the gradual formation of groups of stars (i. c. associations) from the pre-stellar material.[26]

cosmic clouds

 

So all the observed stars were not born simultaneously, but different groups of stars evolved at different times. This observation is confirmed by other astronomers and there is an agreement that in a particular galaxy different groups of stars are of different ages. Likewise, different stars have different
lifespans depending on their mass, density, and luminosity. Star formation is not a spontaneous event, but it is a prolonged evolutionary process, that may spread over centuries.

It is generally believed that most active sites of star formation lie near the Active Galactic Nucleus. However, younger stars have also been located in spiral arms and on the outer regions of galaxies.

The Qur’an explicitly mentions that some gaseous materials are involved in the formation of the observable universe. Allah Almighty says:

“Then He turned to the (lowest) heaven while it looked like smoke. He said to the heaven and the earth:
“Follow (the Divine Programming), willingly or unwillingly.” They said: “Here we follow in willing obeisance. Then He made them seven heavens in two days and revealed to each heaven its law. And We adorned the lower heaven with lamps and firmly secured it. All this is the firm programming of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing”
[27]

Arabic connotation Dukhan refers to smoke that is produced by burning some fuel. Surprisingly, there is no word better than smoke to express the observed gaseous nebulae.  We can easily conclude from this brilliant Qur’anic narrative that Dukhan (gaseous nebula) is directly involved in star formation by burning fuel of gases. It is noteworthy that planet formation is also mentioned in this narrative by pointing to the creation of the Earth. This narrative also indicates that some in-built conflicting forces in plasma resist forming stars and planets eventually.

It is observed on large scales that usually a dense cloud of gas and dust is involved in the star formation which is known as a Giant Molecular Cloud.

Clare Dobbs, a researcher at the University of Exeter (UK), in his article Giant Clouds: Star Factories of theGalaxies:

Stars are forming in our galaxy at a rate of between 1 and 4 solar masses of stars per year. In contrast to elliptical galaxies, which are largely devoid of star formation, star formation is still going on in spiral
galaxies because of their reservoirs of molecular gas, the fuel for new stars. The discs of spiral galaxies are comprised not only of stars as we clearly see from Earth, but also gas (the interstellar medium, ISM). This is where this gas accumulates into cold, dense, molecular regions known as molecular clouds, in which new stars are formed. Most star formation occurs in massive molecular clouds, known as giant molecular clouds (GMCs). However, while we have a good understanding of how individual stars form, there is less consensus on how their natal clouds of gas accumulate, how long these clouds last, how star
formation progresses over their lifetime, and indeed how star formation has progressed over the lifetime of the Milky Way. What we do know about star formation in nearby galaxies tells us that the rate of star formation is surprisingly low, but we do not know why. In order to do this we need to study the evolution of the gas, and how it is turned into stars. Understanding the formation and evolution of GMCs, though, is a formidable problem. One immediate challenge is the vast range in scales between galaxies and protostellar discs, from ~10 kpcs across down to ~10–3 pcs. Another dif-ficulty is the complex physics involved: gravity, magnetic fields, thermodynamics, turbulence, and stellar feedback all play roles. The ISM itself is a multiphase medium of atomic, molecular, and ionized hydrogen spanning a range of temperatures from 10 K to >108 K, and many orders of magnitude in density.
[28]

We cited this lengthy paragraph deliberately from Dobb’s work to inform the readers what we know all about star formation. This paragraph is a good summary of the star formation process. It also differentiates the factual data and hypothetical explanations of the process involved. We know little about the details of the star formation process. Star formation, despite the advances in astrophysics and far-reaching space telescopes, remains a mystery for astronomers.

However, recent findings confirm that electromagnetic force plays an important role in star formation.

American Astronomical Society observes:

The formation of Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) is a poorly understood step in the star formation process. Magnetic fields may play a role in GMC formation. We report the results of an observational study of magnetic fields in GMCs and in the less dense interstellar regions that surround them.[29]

Center for Astrophysics, at Harvard University (USA), observes:

Previous observations with other telescopes found that magnetic fields surrounding some young protostars form a classic “hourglass” shape – a hallmark of a strong magnetic field – that starts near the protostar and extends many light-years into the surrounding cloud of dust and gas.[30]

By comparing the structure of the magnetic field in the observations with cutting-edge supercomputer simulations on multiple scales, astronomers gained important insights into the earliest stages of magnetized star formation. [31]

The well-known magazine for scientific articles, Nature mentions a study related to the helical magnetic field discovered in a giant molecular cloud L 1641 located in Orion Nebula:

Using the Nagoya telescope, Uchida et al. found an unusual helical filamentary structure, spinning about its long axis, in the L1641 cloud in the Orion cloud complex. Noting that this structure is consistent with a helically twisted magnetic field inferred from optical polarization observations, they argued that the helical filament is a manifestation of torsional magnetohydrodynamic (Alfvén) waves-draining angular momentum from a nearby massive cloud, thus promoting collapse and star formation. [32]

David Spergel, a renowned theoretical astrophysicist and current president of the Simons Foundation in New York, explains the existence of mature galaxies shortly after the Big Bang:

 “I think what we’re seeing is that high-mass star formation is very efficient in the early universe,” he says. “The gas pressures are higher. The temperatures are higher. That has an enormous impact on the environment for star formation.” Perhaps even magnetic fields arose earlier in the universe than we thought, playing a crucial role in driving material to kick-start the birth of stars. “We might be seeing a signature of magnetic fields emerging very early in the universe’s history,” [33]

All these observations indicate the correlation of the magnetic field in the star formation. More recent studies suggest that magnetic fields not only play a role in star formation but might be responsible for the spiral structure of the galaxies.

Evolution of Spiral Galaxies

The spiral pattern being the original pattern of galaxies is an intriguing concept that has captivated the interest of scientists and astronomers for many years. The allure of this idea stems from the captivating beauty and ubiquity of spiral galaxies in the observable universe.



Spiral galaxies, with their distinct arms winding outward from a central bulge, have long fascinated astronomers and the general public alike. Examples such as the iconic Whirlpool Galaxy (M51) and the majestic Andromeda Galaxy (M31) showcase the mesmerizing structure and intricate details of spiral arms. These galaxies have captured our imagination and have become symbols of the vast and awe-inspiring cosmos.

The hypothesis that the spiral pattern might be the original pattern of galaxies suggests that these graceful and intricate structures were present in the early universe, emerging during the formative stages of galactic evolution. If true, it would imply that the seeds of spiral galaxies were laid down in the primordial conditions of the cosmos.

The investigation into the origins of spiral galaxies involves a multidisciplinary approach. Astronomers employ a combination of observations, computer simulations, and theoretical models to explore the formation and evolution of galaxies over cosmic time. By studying the distribution of matter, the dynamics of gas and stars, and the effects of gravity, researchers aim to unravel the mysteries surrounding the emergence of spiral patterns.

Computer simulations play a crucial role in these investigations, allowing scientists to recreate the conditions of the early universe and simulate the complex interactions that govern galaxy formation. Through these simulations, researchers can study the growth of cosmic structures, the interplay between dark matter and baryonic matter, and the emergence of spiral features in evolving galaxies.

Observationally, astronomers have been studying distant and early galaxies to search for evidence of spiral patterns in the early universe. By peering billions of light-years away, telescopes like the Hubble Space Telescope and the James Webb Space Telescope have provided glimpses into the ancient universe, allowing researchers to trace galactic evolution back to its earliest stages.

While our current understanding suggests that spiral galaxies may have formed through a
combination of gravitational instabilities, accretion of matter, and interactions with neighboring galaxies, the question of their origin remains open. Further observational data, theoretical advancements, and technological advances will help refine our understanding of the early universe and shed light on the enigmatic origins of spiral patterns in galaxies.

In conclusion, the idea that the spiral pattern might be the original pattern of galaxies is an exciting and captivating concept that continues to drive scientific investigation. As researchers delve deeper into the complexities of galaxy formation and explore the mysteries of the early universe, we hope to gain a deeper understanding of the origins and prevalence of spiral patterns, unraveling the secrets of the cosmos one galactic spiral at a time.

Observationally, studies have found that spiral galaxies tend to be more common in the present-day universe, while elliptical galaxies are more prevalent in dense galaxy clusters. This observation is consistent with the idea that spiral galaxies formed earlier when the universe was less clustered and interactions were less frequent. As the universe evolved and structures like galaxy clusters formed, mergers and interactions became more common, leading to the formation of elliptical galaxies.

According to this model, spiral galaxies can form through the accretion of gas and the conservation of angular momentum, leading to the formation of rotating disks with spiral arms. As galaxies continue to evolve and interact, mergers can occur, resulting in the transformation of spiral galaxies into elliptical galaxies.

Interestingly, all the observed galaxies are not of the same age, but different types are of different ages. European Space Agency (ESA) observes:

Current thinking amongst astronomers is that most elliptical galaxies formed from the collisions
and subsequent mergers of spiral galaxies. The typical ages of the stellar populations of elliptical and spiral galaxies provide evidence for this theory because the stars in elliptical galaxies are typically much older and 
redder than those in spiral galaxies. Whilst spiral galaxies have rich reservoirs of the dust and gas that fuel star formation, elliptical galaxies appear to have virtually exhausted that fuel, and so there is very little raw material for the formation of new stars. Therefore, it seems likely that elliptical galaxies are largely populated by stars that formed within active spiral galaxies. Due to their very low rate of star formation and their populations of old, red stars, elliptical galaxies are sometimes colloquially referred to as ‘red and dead’ by astronomers. [10]

Whatever the way of aging the galaxies, whether spiral galaxies fused to form elliptical galaxies or each spiral galaxy evolved into an elliptical galaxy individually; spiral patterns can be traced back in all types of galaxies. This observation leads us to conclude without any doubt that a spiral pattern is the origin of all the galaxies.[34]

It is true that if spiral galaxies existed earlier than elliptical galaxies, it is reasonable to expect that they were more prevalent in the earlier universe. This is because galaxies are thought to have formed
and evolved over cosmic time, and different types of galaxies may have emerged at different stages.

The prevailing understanding is that in the early universe, galaxies were in a more disordered and chaotic state, with more frequent interactions and mergers occurring. These interactions can disrupt the spiral structure of galaxies and lead to the formation of elliptical galaxies, which are often found in dense galaxy clusters where interactions are more common.

On the other hand, spiral galaxies are typically found in less dense environments and are often associated with more quiescent regions of the universe. They are believed to have formed later through a combination of the accretion of gas, angular momentum conservation, and the settling of material into a rotating disk.

Therefore, if we consider the cosmic timeline, it is reasonable to infer that spiral galaxies were more prevalent in the earlier universe, while elliptical galaxies formed later through mergers and interactions.

The idea that the spiral pattern might be the original pattern of galaxies is certainly intriguing and has been the subject of scientific investigation. While it is an interesting hypothesis, it is important to note
that it is still a matter of scientific debate and ongoing research.

The spiral pattern is indeed observed in many galaxies, including the Milky Way, and it has been studied extensively. Spiral arms are thought to form through density waves propagating through the galactic disk, triggering star formation and creating the characteristic spiral structure. This process has
been observed in simulations and can account for the formation of spiral patterns in galaxies.

To determine the origin of the spiral pattern in galaxies, researchers use a combination of observations, simulations, and theoretical models. They aim to understand the initial conditions of the universe, the dynamics of matter, and the processes that shape galaxies over cosmic time.

NASA observed in December 2019, pointing to the formation of spiral galaxies:

“Magnetic fields are invisible, but they may influence the evolution of a galaxy,” said Enrique Lopez-Rodriguez, a Universities Space Research Association scientist at the SOFIA Science Center at NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley. “We have a pretty good understanding of how gravity affects galactic structures, but we’re just starting to learn the role magnetic fields play.”[35]

They go further:

SOFIA’s infrared observations reveal what human eyes cannot: magnetic fields that closely follow the newborn star-filled spiral arms. This supports the leading theory of how these arms are forced into their
iconic shape is known as “density wave theory.” It states that dust, gas, and stars in the arms are not fixed in place like blades on a fan. Instead, the material moves along the arms as gravity compresses it, like items on a conveyor belt.

The magnetic field alignment stretches across the entire length of the massive, arms — approximately 24,000 light-years across. This implies that the gravitational forces that created the galaxy’s spiral shape are also compressing its magnetic field, supporting the density wave theory. The results are published in the Astrophysical Journal.[36]

magnetic field in spiral arms

 

Rainer Beck, an astrophysicist from Max Planck Society Germany starts his article Magnetic fields in the nearby spiral galaxy IC 342: A multi-frequency
radio polarization study
(February 2015) with these words:

Magnetic fields play an important role in the formation and stabilization of spiral structures in galaxies, but the interaction between interstellar gas and magnetic fields has not yet been understood. In particular, the phenomenon of “magnetic arms” located between material arms is a mystery.[37]

Observational data shows that spiral galaxies are the earliest galaxies ever found. It means spiral galaxies are believed to grow primarily through the accretion of gas, which can fuel the formation of
new stars. As the galaxy grows, its gravitational pull can also attract smaller galaxies, leading to mergers and the formation of larger galaxies.

Evolution of
Lenticular Galaxies

Lenticular galaxies, also known as S0 galaxies, are a type of intermediate form between spiral and elliptical galaxies. They are characterized by a disk-like structure similar to spiral galaxies but lack prominent spiral arms. Instead, lenticular galaxies exhibit a smooth, featureless disk with a central bulge.

NASA observes:
“Scientists have a few theories about how lenticular galaxies evolved. One idea suggests these galaxies are older spirals whose arms have faded. Another proposes that lenticulars formed from mergers of spiral galaxies.[38]

The evolution of lenticular galaxies is thought to occur through a combination of processes.
One proposed mechanism is the transformation of spiral galaxies into lenticular galaxies through environmental effects within galaxy clusters. As spiral galaxies interact with their cluster environment, gravitational interactions, ram pressure stripping, and tidal forces can remove or disrupt their gas and
dust, resulting in the suppression of star formation and the fading of spiral arms. This process can lead to the formation of lenticular galaxies with a smooth disk structure.

Another possible scenario for lenticular galaxy formation involves gas depletion. It is believed that lenticular galaxies could arise from spiral galaxies whose gas reservoirs have been exhausted over time. The depletion of gas can halt active star formation and the maintenance of the spiral structure, resulting in the transformation into a lenticular galaxy.

Observationally, lenticular galaxies are found in various environments, including both isolated
regions and galaxy clusters. They often exhibit a higher fraction in dense galaxy cluster environments, suggesting that environmental factors can play a role in their formation and evolution.

Understanding the precise evolutionary pathways of lenticular galaxies is still an active area of research, and further observational data and theoretical modeling are needed to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their formation and evolution. Nonetheless, it is clear that lenticular
galaxies represent an intermediate stage in the transformation between spiral and elliptical galaxies, likely influenced by environmental factors and the depletion of gas reservoirs.

Evolution of
Elliptical Galaxies

 

Elliptical galaxies are one of the major types of galaxies, characterized by their smooth and elongated or spherical shapes, lacking the prominent disk structure and spiral arms observed in spiral galaxies. The evolution of elliptical galaxies is thought to occur through a combination of processes and interactions over cosmic time.

One prominent mechanism for the formation of elliptical galaxies is the merger and interaction of smaller galaxies. When galaxies come close to each other and eventually merge, the gravitational forces involved can disrupt the original structures and trigger intense starbursts. These mergers can lead to the formation of a new, more massive elliptical galaxy.

During the merger process, the orbits of stars and gas within the merging galaxies become
highly disturbed. The resulting gravitational interactions cause the material to lose angular momentum, leading to the collapse and redistribution of mass into a more centrally concentrated configuration. This process, known as violent relaxation, is responsible for the smooth and spheroidal appearance of elliptical galaxies.

Another important factor in the evolution of elliptical galaxies is the availability of gas. Unlike spiral galaxies, ellipticals generally have low levels of gas and little ongoing star formation. This is thought to be due to a combination of factors, including the consumption of available gas during earlier starbursts, the absence of a disk structure that can replenish gas reservoirs, and the effects of environmental processes such as ram pressure stripping in dense galaxy clusters.

As a result, elliptical galaxies are often found in dense environments like galaxy clusters,
where interactions and mergers are more common. The dense environment can strip gas from infalling galaxies, preventing the formation of new stars and leading to the transition from spiral to elliptical morphology.

Observationally, studies have shown a correlation between the properties of elliptical galaxies
and their surrounding environments. Elliptical galaxies located in dense regions tend to be more massive, with higher velocity dispersions, while those in less dense regions may exhibit more irregular shapes or intermediate forms like lenticular galaxies.

In summary, the evolution of elliptical galaxies is thought to occur through a combination of mergers, interactions, and environmental processes. Through these mechanisms, the original structures of galaxies can be disrupted, leading to the formation of smooth, spheroidal elliptical galaxies. The availability of gas and the environment in which galaxies reside play significant roles in shaping the final properties of elliptical galaxies observed in the universe.

 

When two spirals collide, they lose their familiar shape, morphing into less-structured elliptical galaxies. Born from collision, elliptical galaxies are more commonly found around clusters and groups of galaxies. They are less frequently spotted in the early universe, which supports the idea that they evolved from the collisions that came later in the life of a galaxy.[39]

During a merger, the gas and dust in the galaxies can be compressed and trigger bursts of star formation. This can result in a rejuvenation of the merged galaxy, with the formation of new stars and the creation of a new population of young stars.

In addition to mergers, internal processes such as feedback from supernovae and active galactic nuclei (AGN) can also play a role in the evolution of elliptical galaxies.

The Fate of Spiral Galaxies

Based on observational data and our current understanding, the ultimate fate of a spiral galaxy can vary depending on a variety of factors, including its environment, interactions with other galaxies, and the
availability of gas for star formation. While individual galaxies can have unique evolutionary paths, several potential outcomes have been proposed:

Transformation into an Elliptical Galaxy:

Through interactions and mergers with other galaxies, a spiral galaxy can undergo structural changes and eventually transform into an elliptical galaxy. This process involves the disruption of the spiral arms, the redistribution of mass, and the eventual formation of a more spheroidal shape.

Sustaining as a Spiral Galaxy:

Some spiral galaxies can maintain their structure and continue to exist as spiral galaxies over long periods. This can occur if the galaxy avoids significant interactions or disruptions and has a steady supply of gas to sustain ongoing star formation. The spiral arms may evolve and change in appearance, but the overall spiral structure can persist.

Transition into a Lenticular Galaxy:

Lenticular galaxies, also known as S0 galaxies, are intermediate forms between spiral and elliptical galaxies. They have a disk-like structure similar to spirals but lack prominent spiral arms. A spiral galaxy can evolve into a lenticular galaxy through the gradual fading or dissolution of its spiral arms, often due to gas depletion and aging.

Disruption or Cannibalization:

In dense environments such as galaxy clusters, interactions between galaxies can be frequent and intense. Spiral galaxies may experience tidal forces, ram pressure stripping, or mergers that can disrupt their structure, strip away their gas reservoirs, and eventually lead to their assimilation into larger galaxies.

It is important to note that these outcomes are not mutually exclusive, and the fate of a particular spiral galaxy depends on its specific circumstances. Additionally, our understanding of galaxy evolution is still evolving, and ongoing research and observations continue to refine our knowledge of the diverse pathways that galaxies can follow throughout their lifetimes.


[1]
Al Qur’an, 87:1-3

[2]
Al Qur’an, 25:2

[5] Jami at-Tirmidhi: H#3319, Musnad
Ahmad: H#23081

[6]
Al Qur’an, 87:1-3

[7]
Al-Qur’an, 7:54

[8]  Al-Qur’an, 22:47

[9]
Al-Qur’an, 113:1-2

[11]
Abu Muhammad Abd-ur-Rahman bin Abu Hatim Ar-Razi, Tafseer Ibni Abi Hatim, H.19538

[19]
Al-Qur’an, 11:7

[25]
V.A. Ambartsumian, Theoretical Astrophysics, p.517, Pergamon Press,
New York,1958

[26]
Ibid

[27]
Al-Qur’an, 41:11

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