When an alignment of supermassive black holes occurs
The rotation axes of several quasars, those active nuclei of galaxies hosting a supermassive black hole at their core, are aligned with each other but also with the axis of the cosmic web filament to which they belong. This group may constitute a complex structure formed at about one third of the current age of the Universe, that extends over a distance of three billion light years. This discovery was made thanks to the analysis of the polarisation of the light emitted by those quasars. The observations were carried out in Chile by astrophysicists from the University of Liege. Though the alignment phenomenon was expected by the researchers, the detection of such a large structure remains very surprising since it is not predicted by the standard model of the Universe.
(1) Damien Hutsemékers, Lorraine Braibant, Vincent Pelgrims, Dominique Sluse, Alignment of quasar polarizations with large-scale structures, Astronomy & Astrophysics, 19 novembre 2014.