Astronomers have created a 3D map of a cosmic structure that is so gigantic that it is almost impossible to understand it at all.
The “South Pole Wall” has a diameter of 1.4 billion light years and contains hundreds of thousands of galaxies. Live science Reports. It is comparable to the Sloan Great Wall, the sixth largest cosmic structure ever discovered with a diameter of 1.38 billion light years.
“The surprise for us is that this structure is as large as the Sloan Great Wall and twice as close and went unnoticed because it was hidden in a dark area of the southern sky,” said Daniel Pomarède from the University of Paris-Saclay and lead author an article on research published in The Astrophysical Journal told today The New York Times in an email.
“The discovery is a wonderful figurehead for the power of visualization in research,”
In order to create their map of the South Pole wall, the cosmographers had to take a look at the “zone of galactic veiling”, an area in the southern part of the observable universe that is obscured by the comparatively bright Milky Way, using new sky measurements.
The new research builds on the discovery of a super cluster of galaxies by the same team of cosmographers from 2014 – the Milky Way being one of approximately 100,000 galaxies it contains – called “Laniakea”.
In order to put the size of the South Pole wall in the right light, our own Milky Way has a diameter of only 52,850 light years.
Counted in miles, the distance from the south pole wall from end to end would be 21 zeros. It is estimated that the number of grains of sand on Earth is only 7.5 trillion (18 zeros).
These gigantic structures consist of innumerable clumps, so-called “cosmic networks”, which float in huge hydrogen gas clouds. Outside of these larger structures, as far as we know, there isn’t much stuff.
To make this discovery, the team developed a new technique to measure the dizzying size of the south pole wall that takes into account the speed of galaxies when they exert gravitational forces on each other.
This new technique was even able to take dark matter into account, the mysterious stuff that is believed to make up about 85 percent of the matter in the universe. While dark matter remains a mystery, astronomers suggest that it could be the scaffold that determines the shape of these cosmic structures.
Currently, the largest cosmic structure ever discovered is the Hercules-Corona Borealis-Great Wall of China, which spans 10 billion light years. Even then, the wall is only a tenth the size of the observable universe, which spans 93 billion light years.
CONTINUE READING: Astronomers discover the South Pole wall, a gigantic structure that stretches over 1.4 billion light years[[[[Live science]]
More about super structures: Strange theory: entire universe structured by “quantum statics”