10 Of The Biggest Things In The Universe

The Sloan Great Wall

6- sloan great wall 2

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The Sloan Great Wall was first discovered in 2003 by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, a survey mapping hundreds of millions of galaxies in order to reveal the large-scale structure of the universe. The Sloan Great Wall is an enormous galactic “filament” that contains several superclusters that weave through the universe like the tentacles of an enormous octopus. At 1.4 billion light-years across, it once held the title of largest structure in the universe.

The Sloan Great Wall itself has not been studied as much as the superclusters within it, several of which have proven quite interesting in their own right. One has a rich core of galaxies trailing away from it like tendrils. Another has a high rate of interaction between galaxies within it, including some that are still actively merging.

The Wall, and any structure larger, have given rise to a new mystery about the universe. It surpasses the cosmological principle, which puts a theoretical limit on how large universal structures can be. The principle posits that the universe has a uniform distribution over large scales, and nothing larger than 1.2 billion light-years can exist. Structures the size of Sloan Great Wall completely contradict that.

The Huge-LQG

7- quasars

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A quasar is an extremely energetic region at the center of a galaxy. Powered by supermassive black holes, quasars have an energy output 1,000 times greater than anything found in the entire Milky Way. The current third-largest structure in the universe is the Huge-LQG, a cluster of 73 quasars spreading out over 4 billion light-years. This large quasar group (LQG) and others like it have been proposed as the precursors for many of the larger-scale structures in the universe, such as Sloan’s Great Wall.

The Huge-LQG was discovered after analyzing data from the same survey that located Sloan’s Great Wall. Researchers posited its existence after mapping the area with a “friends-of-friends” algorithm that mapped the density of quasars within a certain amount of space. The method, though, is not without its skeptics, and the existence of this particular structure is a matter of debate.

While some astronomers claim that the Huge-LQG is real, others posit that the quasars are randomly placed and not part of any large structure. Another researcher took a look at the Huge-LQG and found it to be nothing more than randomly spaced objects. Whether it exists or not is still up for debate, although evidence is leaning toward the Huge-LQG being a legitimate discovery.

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