Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/08/flying_spaghetti_monster_gas_filaments/

Flying Spaghetti Monster's works spotted in space

Boffins find noodly galactic gas filaments

By Simon Sharwood

Posted in Science, 8th March 2012 22:45 GMT

Astrophysicists have found that galaxies can produce tails of “filamentary structures” with a noodle-like appearance.

In a paper titled “The Flying Spaghetti Monster: Impact of magnetic fields on ram pressure stripping in disk galaxies”, researchers M. Ruszkowski, M. Bruggen, D. Lee and M.S. Shin suggest that certain combinations of gravity and magnetic fields can cause galaxies to leak long strands of gas.

That's just the kind of thing one would expect of the Flying Spaghetti Monster (FSM), a deity revealed in 2005 which uses a “noodly appendage” to perform its works.

You have to take the existence of the FSM on faith, given that its genesis was an attempt to point out the odd rationale used to support the inclusion of creationism in some US States' school curriculums.

That origin has not stopped a minor cult springing up around the meatball-adorned deity, which now boasts its own web-based church. Followers of the deity call themselves 'Pastafarians'.

The researchers say evidence of galactic noodliness has revealed itself in experiments they conducted that show “ … key properties of ram-pressure stripped tails of galaxies, such as their width and structure, are in conflict with predictions by simulations.”

“To increase the realism of existing simulations, we simulated for the first time a disk galaxy exposed face-on to a uniformly magnetized wind including radiative cooling and self-gravity of the gas. We find that magnetic fields have a strong effect on the morphology of the gas in the tail of the galaxy. While in the purely hydrodynamical case the tail is very clumpy, the MHD case shows very filamentary structures in the tail.”

To seal the deal, the team says filaments of the type it has simulated can be seen for real in a spiral galaxy named ESO 137-001.

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