A massive supervoid is discovered and it defies conventional physics.
Astronomers say they have discovered the largest known structure in the universe.
According to a team of astronomers at the University of Hawaii, a massive structure known as a “supervoid” is the largest known structure in the universe. The massive void measurers upwards of 1 billion light years across. Variations in galaxy density and background radiation are accounted for by Big Bang physics, but this area, in the direction of the constellation Eridanus, is too vast and too empty to fit the standard variations, according to astronomers.
Scientists say that upwards of 80 percent of the galaxies expected in the region are actually missing. Due to its size, the number of galaxies predicted in the region would be around 10,000. While the structure is technically a void of sorts, it still is defined by a clear boundary, which astronomers say indicates it is an actual structure
Astronomers say the area is defined by its lack of stars and other matter. Astronomers say it remains unclear exactly why the void formed, and exactly what type of physics are taking place, but it could indicate the presence of a new type of physics related to dark matter and dark energy.
“Imagine there is a huge void with very little matter between you (the observer) and the CMB. Now think of the void as a hill. As the light enters the void, it must climb this hill. If the universe were not undergoing accelerating expansion, then the void would not evolve significantly, and light would descend the hill and regain the energy it lost as it exits the void,” the team noted in describing the strange physics taking place in the region.
The study relied on the Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1 (PS1) telescope located on Haleakala, Maui, and NASA’s Wide Field Survey Explorer (WISE). Both were instrumental in counting the number of galaxies in a patch of sky around three billion light years away.
The research was published this week in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.