The Forgotten Force

A seemingly weak magnetic entity could have made all the difference in our universe’s evolution

Earth is held in its orbit around the Sun, like other planets around their own stars. Stars themselves are held in galaxies by larger, more massive objects like the supermassive black hole at the centre of the Milky Way. Behind all of this, the glue that holds galaxies together, is the force of gravity.

Yet, gravity is not the only force that matters when it comes to the structure of galaxies and the space between them. For years, the interstellar magnetic fields were thought to be so weak they made no difference to how our galaxy evolved. However, research is increasingly showing that magnetic fields in galaxies are important to the way space is shaped. They have become a forgotten force that brings countless mysteries – and problems – just waiting to be solved.

Read more in Issue 75 of All About Space magazine

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