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Has it been determined as to the direction of rotation of all galaxies? Are there more rotating clockwise or counterclockwise? I would think that if one spin were to be the norm, something could be inferred about the formation of the universe.
- Jim Wells (age 65)
People have looked at more than ten thousand galaxies in search of this effect. There seems to be a slight preference of clockwise rotation in parts of the sky and counter-clockwise in other parts. The amount of asymmetry is very small but appears to be statistically significant. See http://astrodatamining.net/category/galaxies/
for some technical details. Some people have suggested that an inter-galactic magnetic field might be responsible.
Just a reminder- whether the spin is CW or CCW depends on which side you're viewing the galaxy from. The website Lee links to of course explains this properly, but it seemed important to mention it here in case anyone might be perplexed. Mike W.
(published on 10/11/2010)
Follow-up on this answer.