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Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:55 am +0000
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Excerpts from this article at Live Science:

A newly discovered crescent of galaxies spanning 3.3 billion light-years is among the largest known structures in the universe and challenges some of astronomers' most basic assumptions about the cosmos.

The epic arrangement, called the Giant Arc, consists of galaxies, galactic clusters, and lots of gas and dust. It is located 9.2 billion light-years away and stretches across roughly a 15th of the observable universe.

Its discovery was "serendipitous," Alexia Lopez, a doctoral candidate in cosmology at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) in the U.K., told Live Science. Lopez was assembling maps of objects in the night sky using the light from about 120,000 quasars — distant bright cores of galaxies where supermassive black holes are consuming material and spewing out energy.



But the finding, which will take its place in the list of biggest things in the cosmos, undermines a bedrock expectation about the universe. Astronomers have long adhered to what's known as the cosmological principle, which states that, at the largest scales, matter is more or less evenly distributed throughout space.

The Giant Arc bigger than other enormous assemblies, such as the Sloan Great Wall and the South Pole Wall, each of which are dwarfed by even larger cosmic features.

"There have been a number of large-scale structures discovered over the years," Clowes told Live Science. "They're so large, you wonder if they're compatible with the cosmological principle."

The fact that such colossal entities have clumped together in particular corners of the cosmos indicates that perhaps material isn’t distributed evenly around the universe.

But the current standard model of the universe is founded on the cosmological principle, Lopez added. "If we're finding it not to be true, maybe we need to start looking at a different set of theories or rules."


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Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2012 9:14 pm +0000
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Thanks quil. Especially like the bit about those "distant bright lights":

quil wrote:
"Lopez was assembling maps of objects in the night sky using the light from about 120,000 quasars -- distant bright cores of galaxies where ... O:)

Can't shake the idea that them thar quasars are caused by the "exit-at-right-angles (57:1.6)" of those [transcendental] Associate Master Force Organizers.

Think of all the commotion a transcendental exit might cause to electromagnetic spectra :biggrin:

Nigel


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